There is much information that the world must learn about Cambodia and the progress that has been achieved in our country over the past decade, through the hard work of the Cambodian people and the Royal Government.
I am pleased to see Cambodia’s business community supporting Invest in Cambodia’s initiative, since the improvement of Cambodia’s international image and stature can only strengthen the national environment for growth of enterprise.
Cambodia has enjoyed stable macroeconomic development and has a firm vision for medium and long term economic growth. Investors have been impressed with the commitment of the Royal Government in getting modern commercial laws in place to improve the business and investment climate through trade facilitation and increased private sector participation.
Cambodia also enjoys political stability and the Royal Government welcomes dialogue with the private sector. This is a very open economy with a business-friendly government. Along with my cabinet, I personally sit down twice a year with the private sector and listen to their pleas, address their problems and solve them. None of our neighbours do this. Our liberal trade regime means that foreigners are not discriminated against. We allow joint ventures and 100 percent foreign-owned companies to trade. Provided businesses are registered with the Ministry of Commerce, they are entitled to import and export. Neighbouring countries would not allow you to do that without 51 percent national equity.
In most sectors there are unexploited opportunities. Our fertile land and favourable natural conditions offer tremendous potential for the development of agriculture and agro-industries. Opportunities abound in transport, telecommunications, power generation and irrigation. Investment in tourism is particularly attractive with the Kingdom’s unique historical and cultural heritage, national parks, tropical rainforests, pristine white sand beaches and islands.
Cambodia is a small market in comparison to other countries in the region with a population of approximately 15.5 million. However, I ask investors should view Cambodia in a regional and global context in order to make a more appropriate comparison. By clearly understanding market demand for the development of the country, the Royal Government has actively promoted the policy of integrating Cambodia into the regional and world market. As a result, we have achieved large economies of scale. Cambodia’s membership of the World Trade Organisation and Asean; bilateral trade agreements under the Asean framework with India, China, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, EU and the U.S.; as well as development initiatives at regional and sub-regional levels; have provided investors with access to the markets of almost all countries around the world.
The Royal Government has established special economic zones (SEZs) along the borders with Thailand and Vietnam as well as in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. A ‘one-stop service’ procedure is in place at each location, which is simple, easy to use and saves time. SEZs offer investors superior infrastructure and facilities, and provide incentives to invest in Cambodia.
Encouraging private sector participation is the most important priority for the Royal Government. Recognising the successful development experiences of other countries in the region, where foreign direct investment has played an important and critical role, the Royal Government is determined to attract as much foreign direct investment as possible to Cambodia. This is a necessary requirement for the economic take-off and transformation of Cambodia.
I therefore invite investors to join me by undertaking concrete investment projects in order to build a bright future for Cambodia.
Samdech Hun Sen
Prime Minister, Kingdom of Cambodia
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