The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) on April 17 announced that it approved five new investment projects with a cumulative capital commitment of $103.3 million, which are expected to generate a total of 1,168 jobs.

The two totals – for registered investment capital and jobs expected to be created – were calculated by The Post from statistics that were provided individually. The actual figures may differ due to rounding.

In a notice, the CDC – the government’s highest decision-making body for large-scale investments – disclosed that its Cambodian Investment Board (CIB) had greenlit final registration certificates to Eastern Rubber (Cambodia) Co Ltd, Rithy Rubber (Cambodia) Co Ltd, GE New Energy Technology (Cambodia) Co Ltd, Jingmaoguoji (Cambodia) Garment Co Ltd and Ebelno (Cambodia) Co Ltd for their projects.

Eastern Rubber’s $73.4 million large-scale cattle farm in Kratie province’s Snuol district and Rithy Rubber’s $12 million rubber plantation and processing plant in Preah Vihear province’s Rovieng district within the Boeung Per Wildlife Sanctuary are set to create 79 and 158 new jobs, respectively.

GE New Energy Technology’s $7 million solar panel assembly plant in Phnom Penh’s Kambol district, Jingmaoguoji’s $5.7 million garment factory in Takeo province’s Bati district, and Ebelno’s $5.2 million electronics assembly plant in Kampong Speu province’s Kong

Pisei district are planned to deliver 205, 475 and 251 new jobs.

The Ministry of Commerce lists overseas addresses for officers of all companies except for Rithy Rubber and Jingmaoguoji which were not found in the business registry as of press time: Vietnam for Eastern Rubber’s “Nguyen Tuan Anh”, mainland China for GE New Energy Technology’s “Han Fei”, and Hong Kong for Ebelno’s “Ding Xingjun”.

In an April 13 notice, the CDC announced that it had given the nod to six new investment projects with values adding up to $73.9 million, which are anticipated to bring a total of 1,721 jobs.

Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told The Post on April 17 that new businesses are opening up shop in the Kingdom due to its bilateral free trade agreements with China and South Korea, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, and preferential tariff treatment from the US, EU and other markets.

“This is just the beginning of the gradual global post-Covid-19 economic recovery. Its momentum will improve as the current situation – [largely shaped by] the Russo-Ukrainian war and geopolitical conflicts between major powers – returns to normal,” Vanak said.

Other significant drivers of new investment in Cambodia are its abundance of raw materials and young workers, favourable geographical location, improvements in infrastructure as well as the legal investment framework, and strong economic growth, he said, remarking that the current influx of investment projects will put jobs in the hands of locals and reduce overseas work migration.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng also put the constant stream of new investments down to the Kingdom’s relatively large export base, highlighting how thorough investors tend to be in their analyses of market conditions before committing funds anywhere.

He chalked up these arrivals to public-private initiatives aimed at getting investors to look at opportunities available in Cambodia.

Additionally, government efforts to fine-tune the legal system as well as cooperation with many countries have also propelled economic growth, he said.

According to a report jointly published by the CDC and the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in the Kingdom in the 10,011-day period from the August 5, 1994 promulgation of the old Law on Investment and December 31, 2021 amounted to 168.8 trillion riel ($41.0 billion), rising by 11.2 per cent from the nearly 152 trillion riel recorded by end-2020.

Broken down by sector, finance accounted for the lion’s share at $9.4 billion or 22.9 per cent, followed by manufacturing ($8.5 billion; 20.8%), real estate ($4.9 billion; 12%), hotels and restaurants ($4.4 billion; 10.7%), agriculture ($4.2 billion; 10.3%), electricity ($2.6 billion; 6.2%) and construction ($1.6 billion; 4.1%), while other sectors comprised $5.3 billion, or 13 per cent.