A Cambodian-Korean joint venture, chaired by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s son-in-law, opened its doors Thursday and said it is preparing to bid for a $31 million South Korean-funded fiber optic project, a company adviser said Thursday.
Hun Sen’s son-in-law Moeung Kompak, owner of petroleum giant Tela Cambodia Co, is chairman of the new Cambodia-Korea Technology Co Ltd, which hopes to build a fiber-optics network between Poipet and the Vietnamese border in Takeo province, said CKT adviser Nong Kuntheavy.
CKT is allowed to bid because a South Korean consortium owns 42 percent of the company, he said. “Only South Korean-owned companies are allowed to bid on South Korean loan projects,” he said. South Korea signed an agreement with Cambodia last year to develop telecommunications systems to boost the economy, he said, adding that the current project was delayed because of the past political deadlock.
Bidding should start in the next five to six months, Nong Kuntheavy said. He declined to reveal CKT’s investment capital, but emphasized its intention to ease the pressure on jammed phone lines in Cambodia.
CKT will specialize in various aspects of information technology, including phone line maintenance, wireless technology sales and commercial management, said Song Suk Young, CEO of Korean Consortium, the South Korean shareholder of CKT, at the opening of the company’s Phnom Penh office on Thursday.
The new fiber-optics line is part of the government’s strategy to improve technology and make the country more competitive for international investment, said Deputy Prime Minister Sok An at the ceremony. The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications has requested $9 million from Japan to install fiber optic cable between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. Fiber optic links between Poipet and the Svay Rieng provincial border with Vietnam were installed several years ago.
“In this era, we rely totally on the integration of technology in society, but information technology is not as developed in Cambodia as in other countries,” Sok An said Thursday. Without further investment, Cambodia will remain isolated, he said.