Hun Sen Meets Investors Today

Prime Minister Hun Sen and other top officials are scheduled to meet foreign investors today in an effort to improve the country’s investment environment, according to the Council for the Devel­op­ment of Cambodia.

CDC Secretary-General Sok Chenda said Monday that about 600 foreign investors are invited to attend the forum. CDC Chair­man Hun Sen, CDC Vice Chair­man and Finance Minister Keat Chhon and Cabinet Minis­ter Sok An will preside over the discussions. “We would like to build up a firm partnership with the private sector,” Sok Chenda said of the meeting.

The forum is the government’s first attempt to get more input from foreigners who have been operating businesses in the country, officials said. The forum is a follow-up to discussions by government officials earlier this month on new strategies to attract more foreign investment.

During that meeting, Hun Sen ordered Siem Reap to be open for direct international flights from additional Asian cities. He also ordered reductions in electric rates for large users and urged the government to seek private investment through the build-operate-transfer scheme to develop the country’s transportation network.

“Good or bad, we’re going to talk about issues dealing with garment manufacturing,” said Roger Tan, secretary-general for the Gar­ment Manufacturers Associa­tion, 30 of whose members are invited to today’s meeting.

Textile manufacturing is a leading industry for Cambodia, ac­coun­t­ing for more than 95 percent of $500 million projected export volume in 1999, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Diplomats from Asean and other countries are also slated to attend the meeting.

Investment officials have said 80 proposed investment projects have been approved this year by CDC’s Cambodian Investment Board through November, totaling capital investments of $434 million.

The figures are down significantly from last year, when 143 projects worth $855 million were approved.


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