Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - $2B in investment projects okayed

$2B in investment projects okayed

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The government approved a total of 113 private investment projects worth $2.3 billion in the first eight months of this year. Hong Menea

$2B in investment projects okayed

The government approved a total of 113 private investment projects worth $2.3 billion in the first eight months of this year, the Ministry of Economy and Finance reported.

This is 22 projects, or 16.3 per cent, fewer than the same period last year, and represents a staggering 57.1 per cent drop in capital investment, it said.

The projects created 84,432 new jobs, but this was a 51.5 per cent year-on-year slip, it added.

Offering a silver lining, the ministry pointed out that there were eight industrial investment projects approved this year.

It defined “private investment projects” as non-special-economic-zone projects that are authorised by the Council for the Development of Cambodia, which is the highest decision-making level of government for private and public sector investment.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng told The Post on Thursday that the decline was largely due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in other countries that prevent investors from entering Cambodia.

On the bright side, he said, the government this year rolled out the Single Portal online business registration system which greases the wheels for investors wishing to do business in Cambodia.

“Granted, the decline in registrations for new investment projects is a concern for Cambodia, but I am confident that after the world gets their hands on official Covid-19 vaccines, the number of companies investing in Cambodia will recover,” Heng said.

With its recently-signed bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with China and similar deals with other countries firmly on the cards, he voiced his hopes that investment figures would be back in the green soon.

He said a comprehensive national safety net had been put in place to prevent Covid-19-induced bankruptcies.

“The government has rolled out a steady stream of measures to encourage and support those suffering from the effects of Covid-19.

“The government’s introduction of Industrial Development Policy 2015-2025 is a source of pride for us and has been a driver of industrial growth. I hope the superior new investment law [which is on track to be approved] next year will further entice more investors to Cambodia,” Heng said.

Royal Academy of Cambodia economics researcher Hong Vanak listed other culprits behind the disappointing investment statistics – regional geopolitical issues, the ongoing Sino-US trade disputes and the EU’s 20 per cent withdrawal of its ‘Everything But Arms’ (EBA) trade scheme.

“Apart from Covid-19 concerns, the South China Sea dispute and the EBA conundrum have also delayed some investment decisions in Cambodia,” he said.

He expressed his confidence that Cambodia will have a better shot at reeling in investors to set up in the Kingdom if it can leverage its geopolitical situation and capitalise on its FTA with China.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Mr Pancake or M Crepe? Tasty by any title

    Crowds of people gather around a lone man with a mobile food cart every day at around 2pm in front of the Institut Francais du Cambodge to order what many say are the best crepes in Phnom Penh. To some – even to the man making

  • Phnom Penh condo market loses steam

    Just four new condominiums were launched for sale last year in the capital, down from 17 in 2020, according to research by CBRE Cambodia. The four developments comprised “more than 1,000” units, while the 17 in 2020 consisted of 10,866, the real estate firm reported. CBRE Cambodia categorises condos as “high-range”, “

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • PM sets tourism reopening as centrepiece of ATF 2022

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged ASEAN to reopen tourism and trade now that many of the bloc’s member countries have vaccinated their populations. Speaking at the 40th ASEAN Tourism Forum 2022 (ATF 2022) in Preah Sihanouk province on January 18, the premier also said ASEAN has a