Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak on June 15 urged the outgoing Swedish ambassador to encourage investors of the Scandinavian country, such as multinational furniture retailer IKEA and automaker Volvo, to explore business opportunities in Cambodia.
The minister made the request at a meeting with Swedish ambassador to Cambodia Bjorn Haggmark to discuss and exchange views on promoting the multilateral trading system operated by the World Trade Organisation.
Sorasak pitched tropical foods and fruit processing as viable areas for investment, and highlighted the significant growth recorded in auto-parts processing, as well as furniture and components in recent years.
Data from the Ministry of Commerce shows that in 2020, Cambodia exported electrical equipment and electronic equipment worth a total of $755.34 million, up 31.49 per cent from $574.44 million in 2019.
The Kingdom also exported furniture and lighting equipment worth a total of $631.88 million in 2020, up 50.63 per cent from $419.48 million in 2019, the data showed.
The minister voiced confidence that, during Haggmark’s successor’s tenure, the Swedish embassy in Phnom Penh would “continue to cooperate well with the Ministry of Commerce in order to promote Cambodia-Sweden dialogue and trade relations”.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng noted that trade and investment relations between the two countries were still low, suggesting further cooperative work to build mutually-rewarding partnership opportunities.
He said the Kingdom’s bilateral free trade deals with China and South Korea would transform it into a more compelling investment destination.
“This is an opportunity for these companies seeing as Cambodia has a number of bilateral free trade agreements, which present a suitable prospect for investment here and now,” Heng said.
While concrete processes to allure international investors into the Kingdom have been a bit sluggish in recent months, the Council for the Development of Cambodia continues to approve a host of new investment projects, especially garment factories, he said.
“I believe that more companies will come to invest in Cambodia. We have still more trade preferences available for our country, and the Sino-US trade dispute is also an opportunity for investors to invest in Cambodia after Covid-19 can be controlled,” Heng said.
According to ministry data, Cambodia-Sweden trade last year was worth $64 million. Bilateral trade value in the first five months of this year failed to match 2020’s pace, reaching just $23 million.