Some 74 private investment projects have been approved in the second quarter of 2023, reflecting an increase of 45.1 per cent compared to the same period in 2022, with capital investment of $760.2 million rising 63.3 per cent, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF).

The increase is a result of higher investment in animal husbandry, food as well as cassava and banana processing, island development, tourism centres and special economic zone projects.

“Based on the statistics, the key indicators in the second quarter of 2023 showed that the economic situation is better than the same period last year,” MEF said.

Meanwhile, Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng said investment project applications have gradually increased since the end of Covid-19.

“The reason why Cambodia is able to attract new investments and expand the production chain is due to favourable factors such as the new investment law, younger generation of workers, large export markets with some offering preferential tariffs,” he told The Post on September 26.

Interestingly, he noted, new investment projects in Cambodia are not “based entirely on textile”, thanks to increased diversification, especially in agriculture and food processing sectors.

“Although global economic growth is slow, Cambodia possesses ample potential to attract multinational investors,” he said.

Federation of Associations for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia (FASMEC) president Te Taingpor said if Cambodia can lower the price of electricity, it could attract more investors to Cambodia. “Any country with favourable investment laws, diverse skilled and affordable labour force, and low operating costs would be appealing to investors.

“Fuel and electricity prices are important factors in attracting foreign investors, as fuel and electricity 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, local and foreign investors would take advantage of those opportunities,” he said.

Last July, senior economist Ky Sereyvath, director-general of the Institute of China Studies at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said Cambodia remains a destination for domestic and foreign investment because of its bilateral and regional trade agreements and its new investment laws that provide more incentives for investors.

“In addition, we are attracting more medium-sized investments, which sends a message to the government to formulate policies to support their effort to become export industries,” he said.