Around 40 companies are expected to explore investment opportunities in Cambodia this month, thanks to the optimism felt by a delegation of Chinese investors who met with the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) yesterday.

“I am confident that the delegation would seize the opportunity to invest in key areas where Cambodia has potential,” said Chea Vuthy, deputy secretary-general of the Cambodian Investment Board (CIB) at CDC.

This could be through direct investment or by joint ventures with local enterprises or public-private partnerships to capture the dynamic market.

In turn, it would strengthen the Cambodia-China relationship, where leaders of both countries have agreed to engage in a diamond cooperation framework, added Vuthy, who discussed this with Boris Xue, president of the Ningbo Chamber of Commerce on August 2.

Xue, who led a team of 15 Chinese companies, congratulated Cambodia on its seventh National Assembly election in July, noting that he would encourage Chinese investors from Ningbo, an eastern Chinese port city, to consider investing here.

It is understood that Xue would ask investors to visit Cambodia to learn more about the investment laws and incentives, and opportunities, particularly in fabric and yarn manufacturing, technology, commerce and real estate.

“More than 40 companies will come to explore the investment potential in Cambodia in mid-August,” he said.

Meanwhile, Vuthy said the Ningbo business chamber is the first Chinese investment delegation which has met the CDC since the elections.

He hoped that the Chinese delegation would take on the opportunities available through direct investment or partnership with local investors to boost cooperation and trade between the two countries.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng told The Post that apart from good diplomatic relations, Cambodian and Chinese trade has increased.

China is a major source of raw materials and components for Cambodia to produce and process into finished products for export.

The relationship is expected to improve further, thanks to the Cambodia-China free trade agreement, he shared, adding that China is a big market for Cambodia in terms of agricultural products.

Although the value of exports from Cambodia is lower than China’s imports to Cambodia, Lim Heng said, “Most of the Chinese goods brought to Cambodia are ingredients or raw materials for production or processing into finished products for export, so it is not a waste.”

In addition, the number of Chinese investors coming to invest in Cambodia is also increasing.

A letter thanking Chinese premier Xi Jinping on July 26, Prime Minister Hun Sen said although Cambodia had just completed its election and was in the process of forming a new government, its policy toward China had not changed.

Hun Sen said he was ready to work closely with China to strengthen and deepen their cooperation and build a strategic partnership in all aspects.

He was also keen to develop a community of common destiny between an “inseparable” China and Cambodia with high quality and standards to provide mutual benefits for Cambodia and her people.

Data from the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia showed that in the first half of 2023, Cambodia-China trade rose 2.8 per cent year-on-year to $6.2 billion.

In that, Cambodia exported $713.3 million worth of goods to China, up 16.6 per cent from last year, while Chinese imports grew 1.2 per cent to $5.4 billion.