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Jan 21, 2020 / 00:29

Cambodia PM calls on Vietnam to invest in rice processing

Hun Sen expects that significant investment in rice processing sector will boost Cambodia's rice exports to Vietnam.

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen last weekend called on Vietnam’s investors to pour money into the Kingdom’s rice processing sector, according to the Phnom Penh Post.

“We call on the Vietnamese to invest in rice processing industries, which will benefit both the Cambodian people and Vietnamese businessmen in the Kingdom,” Hun Sen said at an annual dinner with the Vietnamese business community in Cambodia ahead of Tet – the Vietnamese Lunar New Year.

“I am optimistic that Vietnamese and foreign investors will choose Cambodia as an investment destination,” he said, adding that the Kingdom’s annual rice exports to Vietnam amounted to between one and two million tons.

However, the figure is “not properly recorded,” he said.

Chairman of the Vietnam Business Club in Cambodia Nguyen Thanh Dung said bilateral trade reached US$5.2 billion last year.

He noted that Vietnam is the Kingdom’s third-largest trading partner with 214 registered projects worth a total investment of US$3.07 billion.

 Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at an annual dinner with the Vietnamese business community in Cambodia on January 17. Photo: Hun Sen facebook

“Vietnamese investors focus mainly on Cambodia’s sectors such as agriculture, banking, telecommunications, information technology, and processing industries,” said Dung.

Investment from Vietnam accounts for nearly 70% of Cambodia’s total investment in the agricultural and forestry sector, and 9.4% in the finance, banking, and insurance sector, statistics by the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh showed.

It said Vietnamese investors have poured money into projects in aviation, mineral, manufacturing and processing, warehouse, transport, health care, construction, tourism, and real estate sectors.

Cambodia’s investment in Vietnam encompasses 21 projects with a total capital investment of nearly $64 million. It ranks 54 out of 132 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, according to the embassy data.

Between 2015 and 2018, Cambodia’s exports to Vietnam reached more than US$1.18 billion while Vietnam’s exports to the Kingdom amounted to US$6.96 billion, according to the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce.

Cambodia has made efforts to boost trade with Vietnam. In December 2019, Phnom Penh inaugurated a border market costing US$2 million which was totally funded by Hanoi.  

Hun Sen said that Cambodia is seeking a “win-win approach” by turning areas along borders into development or trade hubs.