Toyota Tsusho Manufacturing (Cambodia) Co Ltd has received the official green light for their proposed $36.7 million vehicle-assembly plant in Royal Group Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone, located just southwest of the capital’s airport.

The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) on September 8 affirmed that its Cambodia Special Economic Zone Board (CSEZB) had agreed to issue a final registration certificate for the venture, noting that it is expected to create 150 jobs.

Speaking to The Post on September 8, Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, commented that the Kingdom is attracting direct investment from a growing number of “large, world-class companies”, increasingly supported by geographical factors, political stability, a diverse skilled labour force, strong economic growth and a more and more conducive legal investment framework.

Given Toyota’s long-term presence in Cambodia, Vanak argued that the carmaker must have conducted thorough studies on the potential opportunities and challenges involved in the investment.

“This is a strong and sustainable investment project, and it’ll contribute more to the growth of the Cambodian economy than those in light industry, especially textiles. Such an investment by a company well-known for decades is an important starting point for attracting more world-class companies to invest directly in Cambodia,” he said.

In addition to meeting local automotive customers’ needs and generating jobs for Cambodians, the new plant will buoy domestic and international demand for locally-made vehicle components, Vanak predicted.

This comes nearly three months after RMA (Cambodia) Plc, an authorised Ford automobile distributor in the Kingdom,opened its vehicle-assembly plant in plant in Pursat’s easternmost Krakor district with capital investment of $21 million and plans to produce about 9,000 vehicles each year – Ford Ranger SUVs and Everest pickup trucks.

Presiding over the June 16 inauguration was Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) deputy commander and Royal Cambodian Army (RCA) commander Lieutenant General Hun Manet.

Lieutenant General Manet said the US automotive giant’s selection of Cambodia as its next investment destination has been a confidence booster, adding that the improvement in the people’s living standards and current state of development make the Kingdom a promising option.

“The establishment of a Ford assembly plant in Pursat, Cambodia, now is a source of pride for locals as well as people across the country, as well as a welcome to the presence of heavy and modern industry.”