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Roadmaps drawn up for auto, electronics sectors

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
(Photo used for representational purpose) Robots weld car frames at a Proton assembly line in Shah Alam, at the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. AFP

Roadmaps drawn up for auto, electronics sectors

The government has drafted official roadmaps for the development of the automotive and electronics sectors in Cambodia, to create more than 22,000 new jobs and raise exports past $2 billion over the next five years.

The draft roadmaps purport to accelerate investment in the sectors towards the reskilling and upskilling of workers, develop electricity and logistics infrastructure, improve cost-competitiveness in manufacturing, build a more effective customs and trade facilitation regime to ratchet up international trade, among other things.

The instruments are the result of joint efforts by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) and seven ministries, initiated in February 2021, according to a CDC statement.

Development of the instruments was led by the CDC, with support from the UK government’s Accelerated Covid-19 Economic Support (ACES) programme and in partnership with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the statement said.

The ministries involved in the process were those for finance, land management, industry, commerce, labour, energy, and public works.

CDC secretary-general Sok Chenda Sophea said the drafting of the document “represents a commitment” by the government to ensure the effectiveness and comprehensiveness of the contained strategies, directions and mechanisms in drawing investment into the automotive and electronics sectors and increase the cost-competitiveness of their operations.

The CDC chief was speaking at a March 1 discussion on the roadmaps with British ambassador Tina Redshaw, industry stakeholders and other private sector partners.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) secretary-general Sok Chenda Sophea was speaking at a March 1 discussion on the roadmaps with British ambassador Tina Redshaw, industry stakeholders and other private sector partners. CDC

“Cooperation with the private sector is essential to the development of these sectors, from the development of joint strategies, to the introduction and implementation of action plans, with an aim of gathering additional input,” the statement quoted him as
saying.

The British ambassador underscored the huge potential opportunities for the Kingdom in the automotive and electronics sectors.

“The UK is proud to support the development of these sector roadmaps, as well as Cambodia’s broader efforts to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, transform its economy, and create more resilient and better-paying jobs for Cambodians,” Redshaw said in a joint press release.

She also highlighted the significant contributions that London has made to Phnom Penh’s management of the Covid-19 spread, including the provision of vaccines, according to the CDC statement.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng described the draft roadmaps as “important blueprints” for underpinning economic growth in the Kingdom in the context of the digital industry.

The document, along with the new Law on Investment, will provide a more comprehensive set of incentives that encourages private enterprises to scale up output of raw materials – especially those used in the automotive sector – support the production of goods with higher value added, and trim associated costs, he told The Post.

“The government is encouraging the use of environmentally friendly vehicles, such as electric ones, and this roadmap will provide the wherewithal for connectivity to local and global value chains, and enable Cambodia to shift to higher value chain positions,” Heng said.

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