As Cambodia prepares to host the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in May, Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday made a global call for more investment flows into the region that he said was safe and secure for investors, and fast becoming a manufacturing powerhouse in the Asia-Pacific.
“ASEAN is set to become the third largest economy in Asia, the seventh largest global economy, as well as one of the most dynamic markets in the world,” said Hun Sen at the Cambodia International Business Summit 2017.
“Despite a global slowdown, ASEAN’s growth has been impressive and it will continue growing. Because of that, international investors should have no second thoughts about investing in the region. Their investments will be safe and secure,” added the premier.
Commenting on the kingdom’s seven percent GDP growth, Mr. Hun Sen said: “Cambodia is actively participating with other ASEAN member states to change the whole of Southeast Asia to make it a rising star globally and a manufacturing powerhouse in the Asia-Pacific.”
“There’s tremendous potential in ASEAN as an economic power hub and Cambodia welcomes foreign investment projects to the region. We will strive to build a better and attractive investment climate for all investors and businessmen.”
Bretton G. Sciaroni, chairman of the International Business Chamber which hosted the summit, said that Cambodia’s strategic location within ASEAN and the Greater Mekong Subregion was ideal to attract more investment into the 10-member regional grouping.
“With the creation of the ASEAN Economic Community [AEC], Cambodia is well positioned to take advantage of the regional integration,” he said.
“According to Moody’s, the integration will support the goals of Cambodia’s development plan for raising investment beyond 25 percent of GDP and sustaining seven percent annual GDP growth.”
Kith Meng, president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, said recent reforms have made it easier to do business at a regional-level in Cambodia.
“Customs procedures at border checkpoints are now all computerised, there is automation in filing of certificates of origin for exporters, company registration is digitalised and public service fees can be paid online,” he said.
“I am confident that this summit will help provide all of us with investment opportunities and a way to forge partnerships that will be mutually beneficial.”
Sear Rithy, chairman of WorldBridge Group, told Khmer Times at the sidelines of the summit that his company was well prepared to be a player in the AEC.
“Actually, with the opening up of the AEC, I have prepared myself many years in advance to recognise the opportunities in ASEAN. This is the opportunity for us to seek new partners and expand our business regionally,” he said.