Prime Minister Hun Manet said that during his upcoming official visit to Australia, he aims to attract more investors to Cambodia to boost economic growth and create more jobs for the people. 

“Since taking office, I’ve strategically pursued international investment, engaging partners across Asia, Europe and the US. Next month, I’ll continue this mission in Australia,” he said while addressing the annual meeting of the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training on February 8.

He said he will showcase the Kingdom’s potential to investors, highlighting opportunities for private sector growth. By nurturing and expanding existing foreign investment, Cambodia aims to attract further interest from international partners. 

“Driving sustainable economic growth through job creation is our key priority. To achieve this, we must leverage the efforts of all players: civil servants, NGOs, self-employed individuals and the private sector. By working together, we can unlock the potential for sustainable job creation and propel Cambodia’s economic journey forward,” he said. 

Manet said that since taking office last August, he has secured $3.86 billion in investment across 172 projects, generating over 190,000 jobs.

He noted that in January 2024 alone, the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) approved 32 projects worth nearly $200 million.

He said this demonstrates his commitment to economic growth and job creation.

Kin Phea, director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC), is optimistic about Manet’s visit to Australia. He said the trip would strengthen bilateral relations and attract more investors, fostering investment growth and trade exchange between the two countries. This will enhance Cambodia’s foreign policy on the global stage, countering allegations of over-reliance on China. 

“The trip will strengthen and diversify Cambodia’s diplomatic and economic relations, fostering partnerships with friendly nations as the Kingdom aims for high-income status by 2050,” he added. 

“The evolving relationship between Cambodia and Australia necessitates an increase in mutual understanding, particularly regarding viewpoints on democracy, human rights, political space and civil society,” he continued. 

He said the two countries should enhance each other’s political support at regional and international forums, facilitate high-level visits, and promote trade and people-to-people connections.

He praised Australia’s role in fostering human resource development in Cambodia through aid programmes. Notably, Australia has granted scholarships to students and civil servants, and now boasts a sizeable Cambodian population residing within its borders.

Australia is the Kingdom’s 17th-largest trading partner, with bilateral trade volumes surpassing $523 million in 2022, a 60.9 per cent increase from 2021, according to data from the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE).