Teng Bunma, one of Cambodia’s richest men, has received a $6 million loan from the People’s Republic of China to build a textile factory in Cambodia.
The controversial entrepreneur, who has bragged of giving Prime Minister Hun Sen $1 million during the factional fighting of 1997, is perhaps best known for an incident earlier that year, when he shot out the tires of a commercial aircraft whose crew had lost his luggage.
The loan, approved Monday by the Ministry of Finance and the Chinese Embassy, comes from a pool of $17.8 million China agreed to lend Cambodia in 1999, according to Hele Ping, political officer at the Chinese Embassy.
The loan is the second to be made from the Chinese pool. The first, to CPP Senator Men Sarun, was for nearly $12 million to build a plywood factory in Kompong Cham province.
Men Sarun was in the news recently when someone detonated half a kilogram of TNT on Dec 7 outside a vacant property he owns on the corner of Streets 53 and 184.
Ngy Tayi, undersecretary of state for the Ministry of Finance, said Cambodia is paying China 3 percent interest for the money, over a 20-year period. Teng Bunma will pay the Cambodian government 5 percent for his loan.
Ngy Tayi said the textile factory, which will manufacture cloth, will provide jobs for thousands of Cambodians and generate much-needed tax revenue for the country.