Cambodia is optimistic of an increase in direct investment or joint ventures with Chinese investors following a successful visit by a delegation of entrepreneurs from Fujian province who specialise in sectors such as mining, energy, manufacturing, tourism, accommodation, and heating and air conditioning.

Chea Vuthy, deputy secretary-general of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), met with Xu Shiwen, president of the Federation of Enterprises in Fuzhou who led the delegation on August 22.

The investors were in Cambodia to study and understand the laws and regulations related to investment, as well as investment opportunities and environment.

Vuthy said Cambodia has a lot of investment potential and that investors should take advantage of the incentives provided by the government.

“I hope that the investors who are here to study the market would consider the benefits of investing in Cambodia. There is ample potential [to take part] through direct investment, joint ventures with local enterprises or public-private partnerships to serve the local market as well as export to regional and international markets,” he added.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng told The Post that political and trade cooperation between Cambodia and China has steadily increased, especially since the implementation of the bilateral free trade agreement.

The flow of agricultural exports to China would increase in the future, he said, noting that investment projects and capital investment by Chinese investors in Cambodia is currently large too.

“After Covid-19, many Chinese companies are starting to seek investment opportunities in the agricultural processing industry in Cambodia,” he observed.

Most of the sectors where Chinese investors are in include infrastructure, construction, textiles, agro-processing and agro-industry, mineral resources and electrical equipment and electronic components.

Meanwhile, Federation of Associations for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia (Fasmec) president Te Taingpor said lower electricity tariffs would make Cambodia more attractive to investors.

When electricity prices are low, it would reduce overhead costs, making Cambodia more competitive in the international market.

“Fuel and electricity prices are important factors in attracting foreign investors because they are important components for the production sector, in addition to the cost of raw materials and labour. When fuel prices, including electricity prices, are stable and low, foreign investors would see more opportunities,” he said.

According to the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE), China is Cambodia’s largest international trading partner in the first seven months of 2023.

Trade between Cambodia and China totaled $7.1 billion, up 1.8 percent year-on-year.

Of that, Cambodia’s exports grew 16.2 per cent to $814.7 million, while imports from China inched up 0.1 per cent to $6.3 billion.