Foreign direct investment in the Kingdom soared 250 per cent year-on-year through August even despite the West’s economic woes, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An said yesterday.
A total of 87 projects worth US$5.6 billion were approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia during the first eight months of the year, he said during a speech at the International Business Chamber of Cambodia conference in Phnom Penh.
“The economy is still seeing robust growth due to strong foreign direct investment in key sectors,” he said, pointing to construction and tourism, real estate, banking and product exports.
According to CDC statistics, investment in four tourism projects hit $2.445 billion, 43.6 per cent of the total figure in the first eight months of this year, compared to $17.7 million in the same period of 2010.
CDC statistics for total FDI in 2010 showed approved projects were worth some $2.69 billion, a steep decline from 2009’s $5.86 billion.
Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said that the re-emergence of foreign tourists will continue to increase, further boosting the national economy.
“We saw investment in coastal areas increase dramatically this year, second only to the cultural and historical sights of Angkor Wat. We expect to gain much more profit from tourism in the coming years.”
He added that the sector’s growth will pave the way for additional employment opportunities in the Kingdom.
ACLEDA Bank CEO and president In Channy told the Post yesterday the decline of foreign investment in the Kingdom during last year was the result of a hangover from the global financial crisis in the previous year.
“Last year we saw the delayed effects from 2009, with a reduction in exports to the US and EU, while the property sector also came to a standstill,” he said.
However, he added that with the diversification of garment exports destinations, the buoyed real estate market and particularly the growing banking sector, the economy will be robust for the foreseeable future.
“The banking sector is the backbone of the economy, which continues to grow due to the increasing financial services now on offer in the Kingdom,” In Channy said.
In the first six months of 2011, the number of loans increased by 12.5 per cent, while the sector on the whole grew by about 30 per cent in the first eight months.