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First trade mission from Canada

T he first ever delegation of Canadian businessmen visited Phnom Penh from Jan.

13 to 22 to explore investment opportunities in the Kingdom.

The

nine-member trade mission included representatives of both public and private

sector enterprises from the Canadian province of Quebec.

The trip was

organized by Mr. Tep Rithivit, who was recently appointed Economic Advisor to

the First Prime Minister in charge of commercial relations between Cambodia and

Canada.

Hydro Quebec International was one of the largest firms

represented in the delegation, with Canadian-based revenues generating more that

U.S. $6 billion per year.

Simon Ouimet, Hydro Quebec's commercial

director, told the Post that the firm was "looking to supply (power)

distribution and generator systems for Phnom Penh." Ouimet said that they could

also provide management and technical assistance to public utilities, advise on

financing arrangements and structure privatization programs.

Ouimet said

that there were numerous opportunities for power-related investment in Cambodia

but that next steps would depend on the outcome of the upcoming Tokyo aid

conference. He noted that Cambodia maintains an enormous potential for the

development of hydropower and could one day export electricity to neighboring

countries as a means of earning foreign exchange.

Other firms represented

in the investment mission included the Trenta Medical Group, E.T.I. Logistique,

Pomerleau Construction International, New Brunswick Telephone, the Economic

Development Company of Drummond-ville, Marine Switch Gear, and J.M.C.

International.

With most of the companies coming from the French-speaking

part of Canada, Ouimet commented that "we can bring, in French, North American

technology and the North American (management) point of view to Francophone

countries around the world."

He added, in English, that the reception in

Cambodia had been

"fantastic".

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