On Tuesday, the government approved HK Burltex Manufactory Co Ltd to build a factory to produce bags and facemasks.

The company received an investment of $3.1 million and will build its factory in Vattanak Industrial Zone II along National Road 3 on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. It is expected to offer 915 jobs to the city.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng welcomed the new investment while the world is facing a shortage of medical supplies, especially facemasks, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“But the investment doesn’t aim to take advantage of the outbreak. They had applied a few months ago and I think it will take months for the construction of the factory to be completed.

“However, it’s positive that it will be able to produce more medical supplies to help support the domestic and global efforts against Covid-19,” he said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Wednesday that he threatened to shut down any pharmacy that raised the price of facemasks above market value during the ongoing pandemic.

“I am conducting a study on facemasks on the market now. If you continue to hike the price, we will seize and even shut down the pharmacy for life.

“[You should] drop the price because the government has not been using the iron fist,” he said, adding that people can contact him on Facebook if they see price increases.

Heng said he supported the prime minister’s initiative as the people are being forced to buy facemasks regardless of their price.