In a bid to bolster Cambodia’s standing within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and attract foreign direct investment (FDI), domestic stakeholders and economic experts are championing an improved investment climate.
Tan Monivann, the Vice-President of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC), currently in attendance at the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Indonesia, communicated to The Post on September 4th that the newly-formed government has introduced a Pentagonal Strategy along with a slew of other reforms aimed at enticing FDI. These initiatives emphasise the integration of digital technology and the refinement of investment laws.
Mr. Monivann articulated, “Significant strides have been made in infrastructure development, legal frameworks, digital technology integration, and comprehensive reforms to create a more appealing environment for FDI. However, a persistent challenge remains in the form of a scarcity of skilled human resources, which has a discernible impact on foreign investors’ perceptions of our nation.”
During his time at the summit, Monivann highlighted the views of Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who underscored ASEAN’s allure as a prime destination for FDI.
Monivann went on to advocate for the continued promotion of FDI within the ASEAN bloc, with initiatives such as digital exchanges and skill development programs. He also called for greater sharing of effective practices among member nations, particularly from high-growth FDI countries, to fortify the region’s collective strength.
Data from the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) indicates that FDI in the Kingdom during the first quarter of this year surged to US$45.8 billion, marking a notable nine percent increase compared to the previous year. The capital inflow primarily originated from a diverse group of countries including China, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.
FDI has permeated various sectors of the Cambodian economy, including finance, manufacturing, real estate, hospitality, agriculture, hydroelectricity, and construction. Notably, the financial sector has been a major recipient of substantial FDI, primarily from regional companies eager to invest in Cambodia’s burgeoning market. This burgeoning interest underpins Cambodia’s aspiration to become an FDI hub within the ASEAN region, as it continues to implement reforms and invest in the development of critical infrastructure.