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Luring Investment

Luring Investment

The general manager of Cambodia's only market research firm, Jules Thomas, highlighted

a number of ways Cambodia could attract foreign investment at a recent seminar on

the subject organized by UNTAC.

Speaking on July 27, Thomas, who heads the IMIC office in Phnom Penh, said that Cambodia

should target a balanced international investment portfolio and not just focus on

investors from the ASEAN region.

Thomas emphasized that Cambodia faces an extremely intense competitive environment

in Asia and that to match the competition Cambodia "has the overwhelming task

of fulfilling the criteria attached to location specific benefits, not as seen by

Cambodia, but as seen by the international community."

Citing overall political stability as the key factor to engendering direct foreign

investment Thomas said that the newly-elected government must "prove its worth."

Beyond this major issue Thomas said that the next issue of concern was the existence

of the basic infrastructure and service sector that investors require.

With this in mind, Thomas encouraged the Cambodian government to establish "economic

zones as customized investor-ready areas will provide benefits to both Cambodia and

its investors."

Thomas added that "by dynamically targeting aid efforts at the elements of infrastructure,

labor education, and welfare within a given zone an essential humanitarian need will

have been filled."

He argued that economic zones could be located in such a way as to break down the

disparity between rural and urban areas.

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