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
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.