The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) notices issued month-to-date reveal that it has greenlit 10 new projects worth nearly $50 million, mostly involved in garments, footwear and packaging.

Including the four projects covered in the latest notice on December 26, the CDC – the government’s highest decision-making body for large-scale investments – indicates that the 10 ventures will create an estimated 8,685 new jobs.

The majority of the projects have proposed locations in the capital and the provinces of Preah Sihanouk, Kandal, Takeo and Kampong Cham.

Three of the four latest projects will be located in Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone, with the other in Royal Group Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone. The four are expected to deliver roughly 740 new jobs.

Speaking to The Post on December 26, Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng opined that given the Kingdom’s favourable macroeconomic environment, better access to export markets and free trade agreements (FTA) are key to ensuring greater investment inflows.

“Cambodia is very conducive to [local and international] investment, across various sectors, thanks to our liberal Law on Investment.

“In addition, we are also seeing an influx of investment into a range of sectors … such as component manufacturing, which supplies large factories around the world, requiring new skills that our people are embracing.

“We need to realise that with all these investments, investors will be looking favourably at our country in the future, when the Covid-19 situation tapers off, considering that the Ukraine war could soon be resolved,” he said.

The World Bank (WB) on December 7 maintained its 2022 economic growth forecast for Cambodia, issued in September, at 4.8 per cent, explaining that the Kingdom’s “garment industry, travel goods and footwear exports have been resilient.

“The services sector, especially travel and tourism, has done well since the introduction of the ‘Living with Covid-19’ strategy in late 2021, and total international visitor arrivals have steadily increased, reaching 1.2 million in the first nine months of 2022. Business and consumer confidence have risen and both domestic and foreign investment have increased,” it added.

Speaking in the statement, Mariam Sherman, WB country director for Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, recommended the Kingdom take action to bolster its tourism industry and broader economy, as well as consolidate its fiscal position, to brace for potential external demand shocks.

“Revenues are up, thanks to the economic recovery and administration improvements,” Sherman said. “Broadening the tax base will help ensure the resources needed to promote Cambodia’s economy and weather slowing growth among major trading partners. Tourism and hospitality are particularly promising areas for growth.”

The statement added that Cambodian economic growth is projected to improve to 5.2 per cent next year “as increased hiring supports rising domestic consumption and as inflation recedes.

“Cambodia has a small economy that is open to outside trade and investment, and the global growth outlook is gloomy. Global trade growth slowed in the second half of 2022 and is projected to slow sharply in 2023,” the WB said.