Singapore and Cambodia have enjoyed strong economic ties over the years. Cumulative inves-tments into Cambodia amount to more than US$1.2 billion, while bilateral trade in 2018 increased by 48.0% year-on-year to reach US$4.8 billion.
Singapore compa-nies have been part-nering Cambodia in its economic and social growth in various areas, including energy, urban solutions and logistics. These are areas that Singapore would like to continue to play a role. In particular, the rising attention on energy sustainability and environmental issues in Cambodia has led Singapore companies to make more inves-tments into these sectors.
In line with the country’s focus to include renewable and clean energy projects as part of the energy mix, Singapore company Sunseap Group has worked with the Svay Rieng Provincial Government to successfully complete a pilot solar project, a 10 MegaWatt-peak (MWp) solar farm in Bavet City. We see more potential to collaborate in this sector as the government looks to develop a National Solar Park in Kampong Chhnang Province.
In the area of water sustainability, Singapore company Annaik is working with its Cambodian partner and the local autho-rities to provide a trial wastewater treatment unit in Sihanoukville to help treat the waste-water discharge from hotels and restaurants.
Promoting Cambodia as a key investment location to more Singapore companies
The past two years have seen growing interest from Singapore companies, especially Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Cambodia. They are drawn by the ease of setting up business and the abundance of business opportunities in Cambodia. Enterprise Singapore, the gover-nment agency working with Singapore companies to grow and invest overseas, has been actively raising awareness of Cambodia’s business landscape and oppor-tunities to companies. This is done through organising investment seminars, bringing Singapore companies on working trips to Cambodia, as well as connecting them to the local government authorities and potential partners.
In the first half of 2019, Enterprise Singapore has led 5 sector-specific business trips to the market across energy, digital technologies and urban solutions. Several companies are now in discussions with partners on potential projects. More trips are expe-cted to be held for the rest of the year.
In Cambodia, Enterprise Singapore also works with Singapore Club Cambodia (SCC), the key Singaporean social club that aims to keep Singaporeans in Cambodia connected. Chaired by current President Mr Albert Tan, SCC organises monthly “Shiok Night” sessions for Singa-porean businessmen in Cambodia to network. This association serves as a useful first-stop especially for first-time entrants who are looking for investment opportunities in Cambodia. Likewise, Cambodian businesses which are interested to work with Singapore companies can approach SCC to be linked up.
Sharing best practices with the Cambodian government
Enterprise Singa-pore’s engagement with Cambodia goes beyond businesses and also extends to the government. To build up understanding of each other’s needs and drive knowledge exchange, it conducts meetings with the various local gover-nment authorities regularly, and also hosts them on visits to Singapore. In June this year, Enterprise Singapore hosted a delegation from the Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts in Singapore on a study visit to learn about Singapore’s best practices on developing an institutional frame-work to support the growth of SMEs.
Infrastructure Asia, an infrastructure project facilitation office led by Enterprise Singapore and the Monetary Authority of Singapore which aims to contribute to Asia’s infrastructure develo-pment efforts by harnessing the expertise of global players across the infrastructure value chain, has also been engaging the local governments such as the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Economy and Finance, to share best practices in infrastructure areas including wastewater treatment and waste-to-energy conversion.
Cambodia’s stable growth and conducive business environment will continue to be a strong draw for Singapore companies and Enterprise Singapore will continue to support Singapore companies to share their experience and contribute to Cambodia’s develo-pment.