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Geared up for moto assembly

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Motorcycles are lined up on display yesterday for the opening of the Try Pheap Grand Royal assembly factory in Kandal province. Heng Chivoan

Geared up for moto assembly

Business tycoon Try Pheap yesterday celebrated the launch of a new subsidiary company, Try Pheap Grand Royal, a motorcycle assembly plant in Kandal province, by donating 228 imported Hunjia motorcycles to government ministries, the military, National Police and the Prime Minister’s Bodyguard Unit.

The motorcycle assembly plant is part of a $50 million investment budget between Try Pheap Group and its Chinese joint-venture partner, Sichuan Grand Royal Group.

“First, we donate the motorcycles to military,” Pheap said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “After they test them, we will think about distributing them to the market.”

Pheap, who has accumulated much of his wealth through the deforestation of economic land concessions (ELCs), led a high-profile delegation through the factory to show off rows of the Chinese-manufactured Hunjia motorcycles.

The plant is expected to assemble 100,000 motorcycles in its first year, with a total operating capacity of 200,000 annually. However, the conspicuous absence of assembly equipment left questions as to whether the motorbikes on display were assembled or imported whole.

Pheap, however, declined requests for interviews about when the production plant would import equipment and begin manufacturing.

Environment Minister Say Samal, who presided over the inauguration ceremony, said that the motorcycle assembly plant would benefit Cambodia and was in line with the Kingdom’s industry development plan.

“This new factory will allow Cambodians to learn new skills and be able to produce motorcycles by ourselves in the future,” he said.

He added that the plant had created 500 jobs and that the number could reach 2,500 within three years of operations. Besides targeting Cambodia’s consumer market, Samal urged the company to look to countries like Myanmar for future export potential.

Yuan Zhiyou, president of Sichuan Grand Royal Group, said that beyond motorcycle assembly, the joint-venture plan included the distribution of air conditioners, solar panels and construction material.

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