By Sok Lak
The Cambodia Mekong Forum 2011 was held on March 09 in Phnom Penh at providing information and opportunity to Korean investors and businessmen to learn more about Cambodia’s economic situation and investment opportunities. Around 20 Korean companies attended the forum to explore any investment opportunity in Cambodia and meeting with concern government authorities as well as directly converse with its future Cambodian partners.
H.E. Keat Chhon, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Economy and Faineance, and Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC), said the Royal Government of Cambodia has adopted “Vision and Financial Sector Development plan 2001-2010” and then updated into “Financial Sector Development Strategy 2006-2015”, which is a congregated political framework in developing financial sector for establishes and develops Securities Market in Cambodia.
He continued that the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Cambodia and the Government of Republic of Korea underpinned establishing Cambodia Securities Market, which is a starting point of cooperation between Cambodia and Korea in establishing of Securities Market in Cambodia. The Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) is in form of a joint venture which government of Cambodia and Korea holding shares 55 percent and 45 percent respectively.
“The securities and exchange commission of Cambodia (SEC) Cambodia has granted an approval to Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) to be a Market Operator, a Clearing and Settlement Operator and a Depository Operator,” he said.
The CSX which sets to go into operation by mid 2011 will promote Corporation Government (CG), Accountability and Transparency within listed companies, as well as to create an exit strategy for investors. The development will allow Cambodia to attract more foreign investment in financial portfolio and foreign direct investment (FDI) especially from Korea. One of the key factor to attract Korea investors into ASEAN included Cambodia is “Agreement on Investment under the framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation among the Government of the Member Countries of the ASEAN and the Republic of Korean”.
Recently, Cambodia also mentions policy of diversification in basic economic growth. They are capturing more value added in existing important sectors: agriculture, tourism and garment sector, promoting industries that have potential to grow and creating new comparative advantage or discover latent comparative.
The establishing securities market will also newly create potential for investment in real economy through long term financial resource at reasonable cost. Major reforms are underway actively such as tackling corruption, reforms of juries and judicial system and public administration, he added.
Dr. Cho Hwan Eik, President of Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), said that this forum is an opportunity to promote cooperation between two countries. KOTRA already recognized the potential and important of Mekong River Area economy.
He added that cooperation between Cambodia and Korean is strengthened very fast. In 2005, the business of Korean in Cambodia is only 150 million dollars, but the business increase 2.5 times in 2010 with 376 million dollars. For the investment, since 1992, the total Korean investment in Cambodia is 2800 million dollars. The labor in Cambodia is not only cheap, but other reasons are the supreme culture, the hardness of leader and modernization within country.
Korean always focused investing on real estate and architecture, but now Korean start to expand investment on product processing, agriculture, financial and transportation.
Source: The Southeast Asia Weekly, March 13-19, 2011/ Vol.5, Issue 11, Page 6