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Who benefits from Toyota?

Dear Editor,

I would like to comment on your article "Govt hopeful for new Toyota plant" October 22:

Cambodia needs Toyota or vice versa?

If the plan to build a Toyota factory in Cambodia succeeds, it will be a new step in the country's development. Both sides, Cambodia and Toyota, will benefit of course. The question is who will gain more? And how can Cambodia maximize its benefits from this investment?

Toyota is looking for new markets after its sales decreased this year. Cambodia's rapid economic growth for the last few years and its low cost of labour are two attractions for the company. Those factors should make Cambodia a good market for Toyota.

Some rich Cambodians are waiting for the chance to buy the latest Toyota cars to drive in the streets without paying import tax. But poor, rural Cambodians will not see any benefit from the new auto factory. They might have hoped that the factory will provide jobs to their children but their children's farming skills will be of no use to Toyota.    

Cambodia, of course, will receive foreign capital from a Toyota factory. The country will also have the opportunity to create employment for her people. It would be very significant if Cambodia is able to provide skilled labour to staff the company's factory,  and the country will benefit more if she supplies at least some of the materials.

Meas Bunly

Denmark

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