The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) has approved three more investment projects in manufacturing, with a total of around $16 million in registered capital, which are expected to create 3,054 new jobs.

In a March 20 notice, the CDC – the government’s highest decision-making body for large-scale investments – disclosed that its Cambodian Investment Board had greenlit final registration certificates to Dazhengxuan (Cambodia) Industrial Co Ltd, Xin Yuan Cheng Factory Co Ltd and Xu Wei Garment (Cambodia) Co Ltd for their projects.

Dazhengxuan’s $6 million factory on National Road 2 in Kraing Svay village, Prek Kampoes commune, Dangkor district, Phnom Penh will churn out umbrellas, raincoats, curtains, tablecloths and similar items. Plans show that the venture could create 1,741 jobs.

Xin Yuan Cheng’s $5.1 million shoe parts factory in Prey Khla village, Kraing Mkak commune, Ang Snuol, Kandal province is set to generate 318 jobs.

Xu Wei’s $5.1 million garment factory in Prey Kambot village, Chaom Chao II commune, Por Sen Chey district, Phnom Penh is slated to deliver 995 jobs.

Speaking to The Post on March 20, Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng commented that preferential trade arrangements offered by the US and EU, as well as trade agreements – including bilateral deals with China and South Korea – have been winning over new investors to almost all Cambodian sectors, including garments.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), along with the trade deals with China and South Korea, allow thousands of Cambodian products to be exported duty-free, he said, adding that this, coupled with preferential tariffs offered by European and US, ensure that “our country remains a regional investment destination”.

Although Covid-19 risks linger and the Russo-Ukrainian conflict rages on, the Kingdom continues to implement its economic policies well, maintaining steady growth, he opined.

CDC notices issued in the January-February period reveal that it approved 27 new private investment projects – 19 in textile-related sectors – worth a cumulative $198.2 million, which were expected to bring a total of 39,914 new jobs.

Notable manufacturing industries represented among the ventures mentioned in the CDC notices included: garments, bags, footwear, sports gear, cardboard boxes, office materials, lights, electrical appliances and furniture.

The two totals – for registered investment capital, and jobs expected to be created – were calculated by The Post from statistics that were provided individually. The actual figures may differ due to rounding.

Customs (GDCE) data show that Cambodia’s international merchandise trade volume totalled $52.425 billion last year, increasing by 9.19 per cent versus 2021.

Of that, the Kingdom’s imports and exports clocked in at $29.942 billion and $22.483 billion, up 4.32 per cent and 16.44 per cent year-on-year, narrowing the trade deficit by 20.60 per cent on a yearly basis to $7.459 billion.

According to a report jointly published by the CDC and the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in the Kingdom in the 10,011-day period from the August 5, 1994 promulgation of the old Law on Investment and December 31, 2021 amounted to 168.8 trillion riel ($41.0 billion), rising by 11.2 per cent from the nearly 152 trillion riel recorded by end-2020.

Broken down by sector, finance accounted for the lion’s share at $9.4 billion or 22.9 per cent, followed by manufacturing ($8.5 billion; 20.8%), real estate ($4.9 billion; 12%), hotels and restaurants ($4.4 billion; 10.7%), agriculture ($4.2 billion; 10.3%), electricity ($2.6 billion; 6.2%) and construction ($1.6 billion; 4.1%), while other sectors comprised $5.3 billion, or 13 per cent.