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CDC woos Malaysia firms hungry for Cambodia

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Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) secretary-general Sok Chenda Sophea (centre) speaks at the Interactive Luncheon on July 5. CDC

CDC woos Malaysia firms hungry for Cambodia

A top investment official on July 5 reassured the Malaysian business community that the Cambodian government would continue to treat local and foreign investors fairly, and that the new Law on Investment offers a host of tax incentives and other benefits.

Sok Chenda Sophea, secretary-general of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), the highest decision-making body of the government for private and public sector investment, was speaking on the sidelines of an Interactive Luncheon co-organised by Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) and SME Association of Malaysia (SME Malaysia).

Prominent Malaysian businesspeople at the luncheon revealed that a slew of Malaysian companies are planning to expand their business into Cambodia in the near future, now that the Kingdom is again teeming with investment opportunities.

Chenda Sophea praised the Malaysian companies that have pursued or voiced interest in investing in Cambodia, noting that the Kingdom’s successes in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic had prompted the government on November 1 to enable the full resumption of domestic socio-economic activity, creating better conditions for investors.

“[We] are ready to serve and smooth the way for all Malaysian investors as well as other foreign investors. At the same time, the new investment law, which came into force in late 2021, has become a solid regulatory framework for providing lots of incentive for all manner of investments in Cambodia,” he said.

The event was presided over by MRCA president Sharan Valiram and SME Malaysia vice-president Ricky Yaw, and attended by representatives of 15 prominent companies.

MRCA and SME Malaysia members at the event remarked on the rapid development seen in Cambodia over recent years across a variety of sectors, and spoke highly of the government’s efficient Covid-19 management, which has been key to improving business sentiment and restarting investment inflows.

With support from the Malaysian embassy in Phnom Penh, the MRCA is scheduled to organise a trade mission from August 31 to September 3, to be held in the capital and Kampong Speu province. The visit and associated events aim to promote dialogue between Malaysian and Cambodian companies towards fostering partnerships and creating new opportunities.

On April 28-29, some 52 Malaysian representatives from 36 companies on an “SME Malaysia Trade Mission to Cambodia” led by SME Malaysia president Ding Hong Sing explored the investment and business potential in the Kingdom, assessed business matching opportunities, met senior government officials and visited potential production sites.

The trade visit coincided with the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Malaysia this year – established on August 31, 1957.

Cambodia-Malaysia trade volume surpassed $500 million in 2021, rising by 13.14 per cent over a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Last year, the Kingdom’s exports to Malaysia exceeded $101 million, increasing by 2.62 per cent from more than $98 million in 2020, and imports topped $399 million, surging by 16.16 per cent year-on-year from over $343 million a year earlier.

Malaysia has invested more than $3.15 billion in the Kingdom as of end-2021, the CDC reported.

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