Investments Climb 5 Percent

Registered investment in Cam­bo­dia increased in 2002, according to recently released figures from the Council for Develop­ment of Cambodia.

Fixed-asset investment rose to $242.6 million, up from $232.2 mil­lion the previous year, CDC Sec­retary-General Sok Chenda said Wednesday.

Of that, Cambodians in­vest­ed  $103.6 million, either in part­ner­ship with foreign in­vest­ors or en­tire­ly locally, according to figures.

Foreign investment accounted for $138.9 million, a decrease from $161.5 million a year earlier. South Koreans were the leading foreign investors, accounting for $72.6 million of the total foreign investment.

Other top foreign investors were from Vietnam ($24.2 million), China ($23 million) and Tai­wan ($6.83 million).

Investment in the agricultural sector nearly tripled from         $9.2 million in 2001 to $26.6 million last year. Infrastructure investment also increased, from $96.5 million to $119.2 million.

Investment in the tourism and man­ufacturing sectors declined slightly in 2002.

Tourism investment for 2002 reached $49.1 million, down from $73.8 million in 2001.

Sok Chenda said Wednesday that the decline in approved investments in the tourism sector reflected a natural phenomenon experienced by countries worldwide.

The tourism sector is the country’s No 2 earner of foreign dollars, with investors capitalizing on Angkor Wat’s prestige and the relative peace and stability the country has had in recent years.

The country’s top earner re­mains the garment sector.

Investment there hit $47.7 million in 2002, down from $52.7 million the year before.

Sok Chenda said the dip in manufacturing investment showed that Cambodia does not hold the same attraction to new investors that it had in previous years. But he also said that the investors in the sector who have happily re­mained in Cambodia are not reflected in the numbers.

“The reality is that in the previous years, we were acting somehow as a magnet,” he said. Now, “there are those who are happy and optimistic and spending.”

“You have always adjustment” in the tourism sector, he said.

(Addi­tional reporting by Kay Kimsong)



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