The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) on February 7 announced that it had approved final registration certificates for nine textile-related investment projects, one in office supplies and another in furniture.

The CDC – the government’s highest decision-making body for large-scale investments – indicated in a notice that the 11 ventures have total registered capital of nearly $60 million and plans to generate 12,710 new jobs in all.

Among the projects, Tiens Textile (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s homewear factory on National Road 41, and All Win Shoes (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s footwear factory are expected to create 531 and 1,478 jobs, respectively. Each of these has registered capital of $6.4 million and is located in Kampong Speu province’s Kong Pisei district.

Precision Garment & Bag Industries Co Ltd’s $5.8 million bag, garments, lanyard, facemask and apron factory – also in Kong Pisei – and Jungkwang Evergreen Garment Co Ltd’s $ 5.5 million garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, Phnom Penh are set to deliver 1,263 and 2,610 jobs.

Funday Garment Co Ltd’s $5.5 million garment factory in Kandal province’s Ang Snoul district, and Hanwangda Bags (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s $5.4 million bag factory in Kampong Speu’s Phnom Sruoch district are anticipated to bring 2,047 and 2,135 jobs.

Everich Outdoor Products (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s $5.2 million bag factory in Kampong Speu’s Kong Pisei district, and Bright Lucky Enterprise (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s $5.1 million footwear components factory in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district are each envisioned to add 798 new jobs.

The remaining three investment projects are located in special economic zones, including Ontime Industrial Co Ltd’s $9 million metal furniture frame assembly plant in Preah Sihanouk province’s Cambodian Zhejiang Guoji SEZ, which is predicted to provide about 500 new jobs.

Three-Color Stone Stationery (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s $3 million file-folder and binder factory in Preah Sihanouk’s Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone, and Hestra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s $0.6 million leather and fabric sports-gear factory in the capital’s Royal Group Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone are seen to produce around 350 and 200 jobs, according to the CDC notice.

The Ministry of Commerce’s business registry lists addresses in the Greater China region for officers of six of the companies: mainland China for Hanwangda Bags, Everich Outdoor Products, Bright Lucky Enterprise, Ontime Industrial and Three-Color Stone Stationery; and Taiwan for Funday Garment.

The registry names three officers of Hestra: the highest ranking of whom is identified as “Anton Martin Magnusson” with postal registered office address in the Swedish municipality of Hestra, as well as “Teruhisa Yamamoto” and “Tomoyuki Hamamoto” with addresses in Hai Phong Industrial Zone of Vietnam’s An Duong province.

Tiens Textile, All Win Shoes, Precision Garment & Bag Industries, and Jungkwang Evergreen Garment were not found in the registry as of press time.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng commented to The Post

on February 8 that the number of companies investing in the Kingdom just keeps growing, despite the current tough global economic and political situation intensified by Covid-19, the Ukraine crisis, along with geopolitical and trade conflicts among major powers.

He put down this positive trend to Cambodia’s favourable investment legal framework and recent adjustments thereof, a diverse skilled and affordable labour force, an improving transportation system, a relatively wide overseas consumer base, and access to preferential tariff treatment on qualifying exports to major markets.

The Kingdom’s existing and potential free trade agreements (FTA) will entice more investors to enter the local market, he said, listing the bilateral deals with China and South Korea, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and the under-negotiation pact with the UAE as prominent examples.

“Cambodia is on a good path in terms of attracting investors, as the export market grows and Cambodian goods earn more recognition for their quality,” Heng said.

On the other hand, Federation of Associations for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia (FASMEC) president Te Taingpor remarked that the allure of the Kingdom to would be even more potent if electricity prices were brought down to or below the levels offered in nearby countries.

Lower electricity prices generally means lower production costs for energy-intensive businesses, which would give them an edge to successfully compete on the international market, he said.

“Prices for fuel and electricity are key aspects of the appeal to investors, as these are important inputs for manufacturing, along with raw materials and labour. When these rates are stable and low, investors will see opportunities,” Taingpor said.

On January 25, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary of state Vongsey Vissoth revealed that the government had revised down its 2023 growth forecast for the Cambodian economy to 5.6 per cent versus the 6.6 per cent it put forth in October, citing uncertainty about global economic growth tied to the Ukraine conflict, climate change and the Covid-19 crisis.