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Thai, VN fixed-asset investment increases

Thai, VN fixed-asset investment increases

FIXED asset investment in Cambodia from Thailand and Vietnam increased 87.2 percent and 85.3 percent respectively in the first half of this year compared with the first half of last year, according to a report from the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) released earlier this month.

CDC data from the first half of 2009 showed that Thai investment in the Kingdom rose to US$178 million from $22.7 million in the same period last year.

Vietnamese investment jumped to $114.2 million from 16.7 million last year.

Youn Heng, deputy director of the Evaluation and Incentive Department at the Cambodian Investment Board, an arm of the CDC, said Wednesday that Thai investments in sugar cane plantations and processing plants accounted for most of the spike in investment.

"The sharp rise in Thai investment follows agreements on two sugar cane factories in Koh Kong worth about $158 million," he said, adding that the investments were inked prior to the ramping up of border tensions over the disputed Preah Vihear temple complex and had just been approved by the CDC in the first half of this year.

CDC figures also showed that the uptick in Vietnamese fixed-asset investment relates to ventures in rubber plantations, telecommunication and transportation, especially the Kingdom's new national carrier Cambodian Angkor Air.

"These investments will be mutually beneficial and will strengthen bilateral business relations between the regional neighbours," said Le Bien Cuong, a commercial counselor at the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh.