Chea Vuthy, secretary-general of the Cambodia Investment Board (CIB) of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), highlighted two main priority sectors in the country’s new investment law for Chinese investors: High-tech industries and the agriculture sector, geared towards both the domestic market and international exports.

He made the remarks during a recent meeting with a delegation from the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, led by its president Lin Shiqiang, at the CDC headquarters in Phnom Penh.

The October 24 dialogue aimed to not only gather feedback on enhancing the Cambodian investment landscape but also to urge the Chinese Chamber of Commerce to promote the Kingdom as an investment destination.

“There are 19 priority sectors within this law. Our most pressing areas of interest include investing in innovative high-tech sectors with a focus on research and development, as well as the agriculture, agro-industry and food processing sectors that cater to both local consumption and export,” Vuthy stated, detailing the new law.

He emphasised the importance of investment cooperation between the two countries, noting that China currently stands as the largest foreign financing group in the country.

In the first nine months of 2023, the CDC approved investment projects worth nearly $4 billion, with a staggering 76% of this, or approximately $3.04 billion, from Chinese investors.

Vuthy also drew attention to the CDC’s efforts in assisting Chinese funders, such as the establishment of a ‘China Desk’ to provide guidance.

He also pointed to the upcoming 19th Government-Private Sector Forum, where concerns among investors could be addressed.

The November 13 event will be chaired by Prime Minister Hun Manet.

Lin expressed his gratitude and acknowledged the consistent support and attention given by the CDC to Chinese financiers, according to the CDC.

Hong Vanak, an economic researcher from the Royal Academy of Cambodia, noted the attractiveness of the new investment law.

He said Cambodia’s advantageous geographical position, skilled workforce and preferential tariffs from key global markets make it a prime destination for investments.

He highlighted the steady growth of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Cambodia, particularly from China, across various sectors.

“For a developing nation like ours, we aspire for more enterprises to employ advanced technology, aligning with our export demands and enhancing our human resources. At the same time, investments in agriculture and agro-industry, sectors with vast global potential and demand, remain paramount.”