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Trade forum held as Vietnamese investors’ interest in Cambodia rises

Jose Rodriguez T. Senase / Khmer Times Share:
Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh speaks at the Vietnam-Cambodia Trade and Investment Forum 2019 at the embassy in Phnom Penh. KT/Jose Rodriguez T. Senase

The Embassy of Vietnam in Cambodia hosted on Tuesday the Vietnam-Cambodia Trade and Investment Forum 2019. The annual event, which is held primarily to promote trade ties between the two neighbours, drew more than 250 attendees this time, mainly government officials and businessmen.

A large group of Vietnamese businessmen numbering more than 40 were on hand for the occasion, signifying continuing and growing interest among members of the Vietnamese business community to invest in its neighbour to the East.

Do Quoc Hung, a high-ranking official from Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, was also present.

The businessmen were mostly from Ho Chi Minh City and several Vietnam provinces bordering Cambodia like Tay Ninh, Can Tho, An Giang, Tien Giang, and Dong Thap. They represent major companies such as TTC Group, Hai Thinh Phat Trading, Hoa Binh Construction Group, and Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group.

In his opening message, Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh noted the strong trade ties between the two countries but said there was still room for improvement.

The event was also an opportunity to inform the participants, particularly the Vietnamese, about recent developments in tax policies and the investment climate. These topics were tackled during presentations delivered by officials from the ministries of Commerce, Economy and Finance, and the Council for the Development of Cambodia.

Discussed topics included trade policies, foreign direct investment promotion policies, export- import procedures, taxation policies and procedures, and new economic development initiatives by the government.

Vietnam is Cambodia’s fifth-largest investor. There are more than 200 Vietnamese companies operating in the Kingdom with a combined capital of more than $3 billion.

Vietnamese companies are present in 18 Cambodian provinces, mostly in Phnom Penh and provinces that border Vietnam like Ratanakkiri, Kratie, Svay Rieng, Prey Veng, and Mondulkiri.

Vietnamese investments are focused on agriculture, forestry, insurance, and banking. There are also substantial Vietnamese investments in IT, aviation, construction, transportation, real estate, manufacturing, processing, and other sectors.

Major Vietnamese companies that have a presence in the Kingdom include Metfone, Vietnam Rubber Industry Group (VRIG), Cambodia-Vietnam Insurance, Bank for Investment and Development of Cambodia (BIDC), Vietnam Airlines, Agribank, Sacombank, Vietcombank, and MGN Emperor Bank.

In the first half of the year, three multi-million dollar Vietnamese investments have been approved. Vietnam’s state-owned PetroVietnam and its local partner, Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation (OCIC), are also expected to start the construction of Cambodia’s first-ever condensate blending facility in Kandal province later this year.

There are substantial Cambodian investments in Vietnam but they are much lower in value. There are currently 19 Cambodian- owned projects in Vietnam worth more than $60 million.

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