Center Cites Sharp Rise in Investment

The number of investment projects registered at the Center for the Development of Cambodia this year has increased sharply compared to the same period in 2003, even though the overall fixed assets of these projects has seen a slight decline, according to CDC statistics.

All large investment projects, domestic or foreign, worth more than $1 million must register with the CDC. From January to Oc­to­ber this year, the agency ap­proved 48 projects, worth

$206.4 million in fixed assets.

During the same period last year, the CDC only approved

37 large investment projects, but they were worth a combined $219.4 million in fixed assets, according to the CDC figures.

The real gains have been made among domestic investors, said Chea Vuthy, director of the CDC’s Information Department.

In the past, Cambodian in­ves­tors were hesitant to take risks on larg­er enterprises, generally re­signing themselves to small shares in joint ventures, Chea Vuthy explained. But that is chang­ing.

“Our local investors have the confidence to start with larger scale businesses,” he said. “They have more money to invest, and they believe that the government is reforming.”

The government has stressed in recent months the need for a more favorable private-sector en­vironment.

At this point, domestic in­ves­tors are ready to commit between $50 million and $60 million in annual investment, Chea Vuthy said. Lo­cal entrepreneurs are particularly eager to invest in industrial projects along the country’s borders, he added

The CDC statistics also broke down capital investment by sector.

As in 2003, the industries sector is still the largest investment sector, but has seen a significant decline. Meanwhile, more capital has been injected into agriculture and services.

Tourism has taken the hardest hit this year, with only 8.53 percent of overall capital investment, a decline of 19.64 percent from 2003.


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