Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UK to open investment office

UK to open investment office

UK to open investment office

120518_07
Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan (right) and UK Ambassador to Cambodia Mark Gooding, spoke with reporters yesterday in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Joseph Pocs/Phnom Penh Post

Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan (right) and UK Ambassador to Cambodia Mark Gooding, spoke with reporters yesterday in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Joseph Pocs/Phnom Penh Post

The United Kingdom Trade and Investment Office would establish a permanent branch in Phnom Penh in the expectation that economic ties between the two countries would continue to grow, Cambodian and UK officials said yesterday.

Bilateral trade has risen by 300 per cent during the past five years and was worth about US$400 million in 2011, according to the British embassy in Phnom Penh.

It increased by more than 40 per cent in the first quarter of 2012.

The trade and investment office would produce market reports and assist in business registration, officials said.

Cambodia’s garment industry has traditionally attracted the biggest share of UK investment.

Along with the trade-office announcement and a visit by Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan, Quantum Clothing, the UK’s largest company in Cambodia, opened its third garment factory here yesterday.

The factory investment was about $10 million, according to representatives at the embassy.

Officials and investors, however, are eyeing the potential beyond garments and construction, in which the UK has also invested.

“Technology, technology, technology . . .  The UK can invest in technology advancement in Cambodia and take us to the next level,” Pan Sorasak, secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, said yesterday after a speech by Gillan.

UK ambassador to Cambodia Mark Gooding said British companies would look at education, construction and financial-services investments in the future.

The United Kingdom was the biggest investor in Cambodia in 2011, according to Cambodian Investment Board documents, but the US$2.2 billion in UK money came almost exclusively in a single investment by a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands.

That company, the Post reported in November, was linked to Cambodia’s Royal Group of Companies.

No separate figure for UK investment in Cambodia was available, but the country invested only about $10 million in 2010, Investment Board documents show.

The United Kingdom was the only European investor in Cambodia last year, the documents show.

Gillan, who met with Prime Minister Hun Sen during her visit, said the United Kingdom would look into other sectors for investment opportunities in Cambodia.

“Our challenge is to increase and diversify this trade and investment, and to maximise the opportunities for British companies in Cambodia while supporting sustainable development and poverty reduction,” she said in a speech.

Several of Britain’s largest companies, among them Prudential Plc and British Gas, were eyeing the Kingdom, Gillan said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Don Weinland at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • China-Cambodia tourism forum held

    The Cambodian tourism sector must be prepared to welcome a growing number of Chinese tourists, as they lead the globe in the number of outbound travellers and were responsible for the most visitors to the Kingdom last year, the country’s tourism minister said on