Cambodia approved eight investment projects worth over $69 million in the first three weeks of this month that are expected to deliver 5,249 jobs, according to a report from the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).
The CDC gave the green light for final registration certificates to two electronics assembly manufacturing plants – Yuan Shuo (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s $2.2 million project in Takeo province’s Tram Kak district and Schneitic Chint Co Ltd’s $2.5 million venture in Pursat province’s Krakor district, which will create 232 and 62 jobs, respectively.
Xin Wei Jie Co Ltd’s $2.9 million garment factory in western Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district will create 659 jobs and Green Sustainable Ventures (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s $17.6 million 20MW solar farm in Svay Rieng province’s Svay Teap district will generate 150 jobs.
First Aquatic Industrial Co Ltd’s $25.2 million aquaculture farm in Kandal province’s Kien Svay and Kandal Stung districts will bring 155 jobs and Innomed Healthcare Products (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s $10 million medical garment and equipment factory in Preah Sihanouk province’s Cambodian Zhejiang Guoji SEZ industrial park will lead to 1,200 jobs.
Huiquanfeng Technology (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s $7 million bicycle assembly and spare parts plant in Tay Seng Special Economic Zone of Svay Rieng’s Bavet town will create 180 jobs and Jiangyao (Cambodia) Garments Co Ltd’s $2.1 million garment factory in the “Suzhou Cambodia” industrial park in Kandal’s Takhmao town will provide 2,611 jobs, CDC reported.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng said applications for investment projects to CDC had not declined despite the resurgent spread of Covid-19.
Submissions covered all fields, he noted while highlighting textiles, construction, energy and electronics assembly.
He ascribed the surge of foreign interest in investing in Cambodia to a number of key factors such as the ongoing Sino-US trade dispute, favourable Cambodian investment laws, round-the-clock development of road infrastructure and a recently signed free trade agreement (FTA) with China.
“Each new investment will give Cambodia a stronger pace of economic growth,” Heng said.
The FTA with China was inked on October 12 and negotiations for another one with South Korea came to a close February 3 with a signing expected in mid-2021.
The Kingdom is additionally in talks to launch FTA negotiations with Russia, the US, the UK, Japan, Mongolia, India and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) – which comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.
Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told The Post on March 21 that the CDC’s latest approvals are a potential harbinger of a gradual recovery for the Cambodian economy that will garner further momentum once Covid-19 ends and comes as the government moves to a greater focus on its vaccination campaign.
He noted that applications for the projects approved by CDC were not recent and may have been submitted before 2021.
Still, he said: “This marks the positive progression for Cambodia’s economic growth, as the global economy and tourism sector signal a potential gradual start to recovery. CDC nods for investment projects will lead to the creation of many a job for locals.”
At the same time, he noted that the energy sector’s share in CDC-approved projects has seen a steady uptick, in stark contrast with bygone eras where garments, sport equipment, bags and footwear dominated the scene.
He said the pick-up illustrates growing recognition of the latent investment potential in the Kingdom’s energy and electronics assembly sector.
“Cheap electricity prices, favourable investment laws and improved infrastructure will showcase Cambodia’s potential to lure in foreign direct investment,” Vanak said.
Last month, CDC approved 16 new investment projects with a total capital investment of more than $700 million that were expected to create 11,414 local jobs.