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W Australia welcomes Cambodian businesses

Sonny Inbaraj Krishnan / Khmer Times Share:
Participants at the seminar. KT/ Jean-Francois Perigois

Western Australia welcomes business migrants from Cambodia and there are no restrictions on what kinds of business they can do in the Australian state, as long as it is legal, a Western Australian government official told a business migration seminar on Saturday.

“In Western Australia, we have no restrictions on the type of business you want to transact in the state. This means that if you have a business in Cambodia and want to do something different in Western Australia, we welcome that,” said Leo Yu, a business migration officer with the Western Australia state government’s Small Business Development Corporation.

“We have business migrants who maybe did property development in their home country but come over to Perth – the capital of Western Australia – and want to start a restaurant, that’s okay,” Mr Yu told the seminar, organised by the Australian Migration Agents Pty. Ltd.

“But in some states in Australia they have limitations and restrictions on what type of business you can run. In Western Australia, there are no restrictions as long as it is a legally qualified business,” he pointed out.

The one-day business migration seminar was attended by members of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, invited guests and the media.

Mr Yu, in promoting Western Australia as the ideal place for Cambodian businessmen to migrate to, said that its capital Perth has been ranked one of the top 10 livable cities in the world since 2004.

Leo Yu

“Perth is the only Australian capital city that is in the same time zone of 60 percent of the world’s total population. We are in the same time zone as Singapore, Malaysia, and China. So there’s only an hour difference from Perth and Cambodia,” he said.

“So we are in the centre of the world’s economy and world population and also we are the closest Australian city to Cambodia.

“For businessmen, I think, time is money – the time difference between Cambodia and Western Australia is conducive for carrying out business. The shorter flight time between Perth and Phnom Penh means it’s easy for you to get there and come back.”

Mr Yu told the seminar that a crucial factor for many businessmen wanting to migrate to Australia was their children’s higher education.

“Education for your children is one of the most important things you have to consider if you decide to migrate to Australia. For most of the businessmen, they want to move to Australia because they’re planning for their children and their children’s future – to help them start a new life in a new country,” he said. “So the quality of education is very important for your children.”

Western Australia, said Mr Yu, has five universities and all their qualifications are recognized worldwide.

“This means if your children graduate from one of these universities, if he or she wants to work somewhere else in the world, they can do so,” he added.

Mr Yu, then explained the process of getting a business visa to Australia and then later permanent residency.

“The first step is that your business must be a qualified registered business in Cambodia. You then apply through us [Small Business Development Corporation], if you want to be in Western Australia, and if we are satisfied that you meet the criteria, we will give a recommendation to the Australian Immigration Department.

Lim Heng.

“The process, all in all, takes about 12 to 15 months.”

The Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) is part of Australia’s Business Innovation and Investment Programme. This temporary visa is issued for four years for business owners intending to establish business operations in Australia or purchase an existing business, and this visa is the first stage to get a permanent residence visa in Australia.

To qualify for the business visa, Mr Yu said, “You should have business and personal net assets of at least A$2.25 million ($1.73 million) for the last 2 fiscal years.”

“You must make an investment of A$1.5 million in Australian State or Territory bonds before granting of the visa,” he added.

Oknha Lim Heng, vice president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, said the seminar was very useful for potential investors and those planning to do business in Australia and also live there.

“We hope that there will be good cooperation between Cambodia and Western Australia. The Cambodia Chamber of Commerce has close ties with its counterparts in Australia and we do hope those links can be further strengthened,” he added.

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