GIZ has worked with the Banteay Meanchey provincial administration to launch a dynamic new website to promote investment and utilise geospatial information technology. Dr Sadroddin Alavi Panah (GIS & Remote Sensing Expert and Spatial Analyst) shared with us more details about the project.
GIZ Cambodia supported the Banteay Meanchey Investment and Planning department with geospatial IT in preparation to launch the www.investinbmc.com (which is live) – the idea was to deploy the technology to increase the competitiveness of the Banteay Meanchey in attracting investment projects and showcase the province’s untapped potential.
The website is also an incredible resource to assist in the decision-making process for investors looking to establish a business in Banteay Meanchey.
GIZ initially started working on the project in 2020 and with the ICONE program (increased competitiveness of national enterprises) Dr Sadroddin Alavi Panah said, “The main goals or objectives was to improve the economic situation of the province, and the focus of the programme was more aimed at the private sector and how we can improve the sector using digital skills.”
On the implementation of the project and the data collection, he also says that although they have the knowledge and the tools “we need to work with people on the ground as they have the knowledge and understand what interests there are.
Getting to know how to access this data was a challenge itself but the provincial administration supported us to get the outcomes and a better understanding of the data on the ground -It was exciting to develop the data set.”
What To Know About Investing in Banteay Meanchey
There are three SEZs (Special Economic Zones) in Banteay Meanchey which is located in the northwest of Cambodia – the province has seen a 60% increase in capital investment in 2022 compared to 2020.
The new website says that Banteay Meanchey’s economy is “rapidly growing and diversifying” and that the province offers a business-friendly environment to expand, trade, and invest. Some of the key potential sectors are Agro-processing, Manufacturing, & Tourism (with as many as 85 tourism attractions listed).
Dr Panah adds that “the website is just the tip of the iceberg – we are sharing and democratising the data from the province with the public and potential investors.”
The main reasons to invest in Banteay Meanchey are:
- It is strategically located in Cambodia at the centre of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).
- There is a high percentage of young, productive, and cost-effective workforce.
- Opportunities across several sectors.
- SEZs are well-supported.
Recent investments in Banteay Meanchey include:
- Thailand company invested in 30MW Solar Project.
- Cambodian-Chinese-Thai joint venture opened Banteay Meanchey province’s first steelworks.
GIZ in Cambodia
The organisation has been working in Cambodia on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) since 1994 and established a permanent GIZ Office in Phnom Penh in 2001.
Dr Sadroddin Alavi Panah told us that GIZ is a federal-owned enterprise with their headquarters in Germany “but we have active projects worldwide. We have a presence in over 120 countries.”
GIZ works in two main areas in the Kingdom of Cambodia:
- Health and Social Security
- Rural development
The Invest In Bantey Mancheay website and the tools used were presented earlier in 2023 before a CDC steering committee with members from Battambang and Siem Reap present. The CDC was so impressed they have asked the other provinces to develop something similar to showcase them to investors.