Delegates from the Shandong provincial standing committee have expressed strong interest in investing in Kratie province’s agricultural sector, provincial governor Va Thorn told The Post on Monday.
“The Chinese delegation inspected the Snuol Special Economic Zone [SEZ] as they have expressed interest in investing in a processing plant for agricultural products,” Thorn said.
There are currently nine facilities for the processing of agricultural products in the Snuol SEZ, he added.
Kratie province has great potential for investment in crops such as rubber, cassava and cashews, Thorn said.
The head of the Shandong delegation during a visit last week credited China’s Belt and Road Initiative for forging new economic and cultural ties between Kratie and the eastern Chinese province.
Thorn revealed that while Cambodian officials had not received confirmation of incoming investments over the weekend, he is to lead a delegation to Shandong from Friday to Monday to present investment opportunities in Kratie.
Thorn also credited the Belt and Road Initiative for sparking interest in Cambodian investment, as well as reforms such as next month’s ban on online gambling.
“The banning of online gambling will drive genuine Chinese investment in Cambodia, which will contribute to the growth of the economy,” he said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Saturday that online gambling brought more harm than good to the economy and puts the Kingdom at risk of money laundering, organised crime and terrorism.
While some people were concerned that the ban would cause an exodus of Chinese nationals, others expressed concern over the increasing presence of Chinese, Hun Sen said.
“So what do you really want? To me, if Cambodia’s economy continues to rely on online gambling, Cambodia’s national security will be compromised and we will be threatened by organised crime groups who will flock to Cambodia to carry out their activities.
“We’ll also find ourselves in a situation in which Cambodia becomes a haven for money laundering as a result of online gambling,” the prime minister said.