The“Handbook on Investing in Cambodia” was formally launched on July 10 to arm local and international players with critical knowledge before committing money and resources into domestic projects as well as to make more informed financial decisions here.

The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) in a statement hailed the launch as “an achievement of cooperation between the CDC and the Australian government”, suggesting – but not directly confirming – that Canberra lent a hand in the handbook’s compilation.

The statement linked the book – available in either English or Khmer – to a Mekong regional initiative on foreign investment and physical infrastructure, and noted that the launch ceremony was presided over by CDC secretary-general Sok Chenda Sophea and Australian Special Envoy for Southeast Asia Nicholas Moore.

According to the statement, Chenda Sophea praised the authors, commenting how the book’s up-to-date tips would provide insight into the current investment environment and opportunities in Cambodia.

He also brought up the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) and a Cambodia-Australia memorandum of understanding (MoU) on bilateral investment cooperation, and stated that Canberra consistently assists the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) in the development of the Kingdom in all areas.

These and other initiatives and projects from Canberra are meant to encourage high-quality investment flows into the Kingdom, as well as to supplement the RGC’s efforts to improve the business environment and create an open, transparent and predictable legal framework that is favourable to undertakings that support socio-economic development, he said.

Moore lauded the launch as well as the CDC’s role in the endeavour, stating that the council consistently works closely with the Australian public and private sectors, and provides coordination, encouragement and maintenance for existing investment projects in Cambodia, according to the statement.

The special envoy expressed hope that the Kingdom would continue to support and fully capitalise on Canberra’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040.

He also indicated a desire to persuade Australian investors to enter the Cambodian market and support the Kingdom’s efforts in attaining its investment targets in key areas and setting more distinctive and novel objectives, either through direct investment or partnerships with public or private entities, the statement noted.

Cambodia’s most recent version of the Law on Investment was promulgated on October 15, 2021. The government then issued a sub-decree on the law’s implementation on June 26, 2023.