A Russian business tycoon has begun talks with high-ranking officials regarding his plans in Cambodia that could include investing on Koh Rong island off Sihanoukville, an assistant to Prime Minister Hun Sen said Thursday.
Russian businessman Konstantin Kagalovsky met with Hun Sen on Tuesday, seeking support to invest in tourism, and industrial and pharmaceutical industries, said Eang Sophalleth, assistant to Hun Sen.
The prime minister was open to Kagalovsky’s ideas and encouraged him to meet with Sok Chenda, secretary-general for the Council for the Development of Cambodia, he said, adding that he did not know the specifics of Kagalovsky’s projects nor the amount he planned to invest.
Kagalovsky has met with CDC officials on numerous occasions to ask about investment laws and procedures, and find out whether the Cambodian government can offer concessions for large-scale investments, said a CDC official who asked not to be named.
“They came here by jet and they have a lot of money,” the official said of Kagalovsky. The official would not specify the amount of any proposed investment.
He said Kagalovsky is the second Russian investor to show an interest in Cambodia, but could be the first to actually invest.
“The authorities will welcome any investment approved by the CDC,” said Sihanoukville Governor Say Hak, who added he has not yet seen Kagalovsky’s investment plans.
Officials said they know little about Kagalovsky.
It was not clear whether the man who met with Hun Sen on Tuesday is the same Konstantin Kagalovsky, also a Russian businessman, who according to The New York Times was an adviser to former Russian president Boris Yeltsin and was embroiled in an international financial scandal in the late 1990s.
A spokesman for the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Phnom Penh did not return a phone call seeking comment.