Cambodia seeking to increase trade and investment with Australia

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The Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh pledged to “promote trade and investment between the two countries” it was announced this week.

Cambodian-Australian trade

Following a meeting between CCC president Kith Meng and newly-appointed Australian ambassador to Cambodia Pablo Chiho Kang, the Phnom Penh Post reports that the two parties said they will aim to increase the Kingdom’s exports and attract new investors from Australia to Cambodia.

Kith Meng said, “We welcome working together with the embassy to attract more Australian investors into Cambodia as a means to further enhance our economic relations.”

Meng is a well know Cambodian-Australian businessman who is the CEO of Cambodian conglomerate Royal Group of Companies Ltd which include well-known companies J Trust Royal Bank Ltd, Toll (Cambodia) Co Ltd (trading as Toll Royal Railway), Wing (Cambodia) Limited Specialised Bank and Cellcard.

The Australian Ambassador Kang said he “plans to lead a delegation of Australian businesspeople and investors to explore opportunities in the Kingdom, highlighting renewable energy as an ideal sector.”

Cambodia seeking to increase trade and investment with Australia
Photo Credit (CCC): Australian ambassador to Cambodia Pablo Chiho Kang (left) and CCC president Kith Meng

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

Australia is a member of the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement as part of ASEAN Plus Six. The pact would include the 10 ASEAN countries as well as China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

It is hoped the RCEP pact will be signed by the end of 2020 and it would be “the world’s largest trade bloc.”

Bilateral trade between Cambodia and Australia reached US$196 million in 2019 up 32.6 per cent from 2018 said the Australian Embassy. This includes an increase of 34.9% in Cambodian exports while imports increased by 24.8%.

Cambodian renewable energy

Solar Energy

Recently Cambodia has opened a number of solar farms and increased its total solar-power generation to 150MW (megawatts). In 2019, the Royal Cambodian government gave the approval for the construction of four solar power plants to generate a total of 140 mW to the national grid. Three have so been completed thus far.

The Cambodian government also previously announced a goal of having 20 per cent of locally-produced energy come from solar farms.

Windfarms in Cambodia

In June 2020, Cambodia also announced a formal agreement to build a wind power station with French-owned Blue Circle on Bokor Mountain in Kampot and add to its renewable power ambitions to support the Kingdom’s total energy output.

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