W ITH about 150 Taiwanese businesses already operating in Cambodia, Taiwan is opening
an office in Phnom Penh to promote further business ties and to bolster relations
between Cambodia and Taiwan.
James C.Chu, representative of theTaipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office,
said Taiwanese companies in Cambodia today are in the building materials, import-export,
construction and garment industries.
A golf course, a hotel and plywood factory are all soon to open, and he said the
potential for further investment is promising.
Taiwanese businessmen already here "feel that the government of Cambodia can
maintain the stability," he said.
"We look forward for a closer economic tie in years to come because more business
is coming this way," said Chu.
He said Taiwan's renewed interest in doing business in Cambodia comes as part of
Taiwan's "southward policy" and represents a shift in focus from other
countries in Southeast Asia to Indochina.
A few weeks ago, a mission of Taiwanese companies came to Phnom Penh for a preliminary
tour and met with Lu Laysreng, undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce.
"I think the group was very satisfied," Chu said.
Among the companies visiting were Taiwan Fertilizer Co., Taiwan Power Co., and Taiwan
Taiwanese investors are building a golf course on Route 4, to be opened in June.
The Cambodia Golf & Country Club has already built nine-holes and will be building
another nine holes and a clubhouse, Chu said.
Another new Taiwanese business is the Tai Ming Plaza Hotel, which is also under construction.
Among the biggest Taiwanese owned companies here are the Horus Industrial Corp.,
which operates a garment factory. The material is imported from Taiwan, and the finished
goods are shipped to Europe.
Another company is Kingwood Industry PTE , which is setting up a plywood factory.
Chu, who has been in Cambodia for three months, and previously spent several years
in Australia, said he is currently looking for office space and hiring a staff. He
expects the representative office to be open in November.
The office will also function as an "embassy" office, providing visas to
travelers and promoting cultural as well as trade exchanges. Chu said Taiwan also
can provide Cambodia with some agricultural training aid.
The Cambodian government approved the Taiwan office about a year ago.
As part of the deal, Cambodia will be opening a representative office in Taipei,
to be managed by the son of Phnom Penh municipal governor Chhim Seak Leng.
Taiwan previously had relations with Cambodia during the early 1970s, but pulled
out when the Lon Nol government fell.
Cambodia's close ties with mainland China shouldn't have any impact on Taiwan's relations
with Cambodia, said Chu.
"What they are doing on the other side is their business," he said.