PM courts Swiss investors

May Kunmakara / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
A worker prepares the logo of the World Economic Forum in the Davos congress center. Reuters

Prime Minister Hun Sen called for more investment from Switzerland, while attending the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), and urged Swiss investors to take advantage of Cambodia’s huge economic potential.
According to Mr. Hun Sen’s Facebook post, the call was made on Monday during a dinner the premier hosted for Swiss business executives in Zurich.
“As Cambodia prepares to host the World Economic Forum on Asean this year, we would like to invite all executives to the forum and also give them the opportunity to get to know what sectors they can invest in. They can also get more information about Cambodia,” said Mr. Hun Sen.
In welcoming investment from Switzerland, Mr. Hun Sen said Cambodia had been enjoying strong economic growth and political stability for decades.
“There are big opportunities in many areas and more investment from Switzerland will improve trade relations between both countries,” he added.
Mr. Hun Sen joined top leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, CEOs and top bankers at the four-day WEF in the Swiss resort of Davos, which began yesterday.
The premier’s trip to Davos comes as Cambodia gets ready in May to host the World Economic Forum on Asean.
Philipp Rosler, managing director of the WEF, said in April that Cambodia had been increasing its presence and profile at WEF events over the past eight years, and added that the country will gain more benefits for the hosting the World Economic Forum on Asean this year.
“Cambodia has a compelling story to tell around the challenges and opportunities of rapid economic development in the 21st century which will make next year’s Asean meeting a very special one,” added Mr. Rosler.
Mey Kalyan, a senior advisor to the government’s Supreme National Economic Council, told Khmer Times yesterday that Cambodia still “had room to welcome foreign investors.”
“The country is fundamentally sound economically and enjoys political stability. For investors, these are significant elements to ensure that their investments would not be subject to adverse risks,” said Mr. Kalyan.
“The Swiss and other foreign investors can help develop the country’s food processing and manufacturing sectors,” he added. “If we can attract Swiss investment, other European countries will follow suit.”
Last March, the Swiss government signed its first framework agreement with Cambodia to ensure that Switzerland’s continued technical, financial and economic cooperation, as well as humanitarian assistance, will continue.
Rabih Aljord, CEO of Swiss company Helveco told Khmer Times, last April, that the company plans to open a branch in Cambodia for their business expansion.
“We are entering the Cambodian market because Cambodia is a wonderful country with good macroeconomic stability, political stability and strong economic growth. We were surprised that a lot of high-end brands were available here, and with a rising middle class, people are looking for luxury products,” Mr. Aljord said, adding that Cambodia has spent some $3 million on luxury products.
According to a press statement from the Foreign Ministry, Switzerland’s annual financial engagement in Cambodia amounts to $12 million, which is used to focus on local governance and citizen participation, agriculture and food security, skills development and employment, as well as their contributions to the Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

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