Commerce Kings Await PM

Singapore’s business community is showing strong interest in this week’s visit by Prime Min­ister Hun Sen, with hundreds of investors expected to show up for a business forum Friday, officials said Tuesday.

Hun Sen is leading a delegation Thursday to Singapore that includes Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong, Cabinet Minister Sok An and Minister of Industry Suy Sem. The delegation is visiting for three days on the invitation of Singapore’s Prime Min­ister Goh Chok Tong.

Besides talks with Goh and the country’s Trade Minister George Yeo, Hun Sen is scheduled to address a group of business organizations, said Cheong Ming Foong, first secretary at the local Singapore embassy. Some 300 business people will attend the business forum and dinner Friday night. “The strong turnout reflects the strong investment interest in Cambodia,” he said.

The visit marks the first meeting of Goh and Hun Sen since the formation of the Cambodian coalition government almost 18 month ago.

Khek Ravy, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, said Singapore is one of Cam­bodia’s most important trading partners. He predicted the visit would build confidence for Singaporeans to invest here.

“It gives confidence to people when they see that Cambodia not only has the legal environment to promote business [opportunities] but that the people are in place to implement them,” he said.

A second government official with this week’s delegation to Singapore said Hun Sen’s speech will focus on Cambodia’s plans to encourage foreign investment.

“The prime minister will brief the [forum] on Cambodia’s achievements, future plans and opportunities for investment in Cambodia,” the official said.

The business forum is sponsored by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Trade Development Board and supported by the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce, the Singapore International Cham­ber of Commerce and the Sing­apore Confederation of Industries. At least two Singa­porean business delegations visited here last year. In Nov­ember, delegates were encouraged to invest in agro-industry.

 

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