Aiming to boost trade and facilitate investment, a new China Chamber of Commerce opened in Sihanoukville last week.
The new Chinese chamber of commerce is located inside the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) and is led by SSEZ president Chen Jiangang, who has been appointed president of the chamber.
Ith Samheng, the Minister of Labour and Vocational Training, hailed the move and said the new chamber will strengthen trade ties between the countries and encourage more Chinese investment in the Kingdom’s coastal areas.
“The chamber of commerce will play an important role in improving the business environment, and promoting Cambodia to Chinese investors interested in the Kingdom,” Minister Samheng said during the chamber’s launch on Friday.
He noted that the establishment of a China Chamber of Commerce in the province points to growing confidence among foreign investors in the Kingdom’s market.
Newly-elected Sihanoukville governor Kouch Chamroeun said the chamber will become an important factor in the province’s development.
“Preah Sihanouk province is a window opened to the outside world, attracting foreign direct investment to the coast, especially Chinese investors,” he said. “This has turned the province into an engine driving Cambodia’s economic growth.”
Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian highlighted the “impressive” amount of Chinese investment in the Kingdom and said that it is driving the country’s growth.
The ambassador said he wants the new chamber to represent Chinese businesses here and facilitate their investments, ensuring those investments are in line with local regulation.
Due to the influx of Chinese investment in recent years, the once sleepy coastal town of Sihanoukville is now one of the Kingdom’s main investment destinations.
According to a recent report by the provincial police department, Chinese nationals own about 90 percent of businesses in the city. Those businesses range from hotels and casinos to restaurants and massage parlours.
The same report notes that there are five special economic zones under operation in Preah Sihanouk province. Four more will come online soon.
China continues to be the biggest investor in the Kingdom, according to the latest report from the Council for the Development of Cambodia. The East Asian giant invested $7.8 billion from January to August, accounting for 35 percent of all FDI.