As bilateral trade soars, Malaysia strives to corner more trade opportunities in Cambodia

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Top officials from Malaysia and Cambodia attend the seminar aimed to promote better trade ties between both traditional trading partners. Photo: Sopheap

Malaysia, the fourth largest foreign investor in Cambodia with an accumulated investment of $2.74 billion in fixed assets, is certainly not sitting on its laurels.

It is stepping up efforts to seek more investment potentials in the Kingdom, which has become a favourite foreign investors’ destination.

After Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s visit to Cambodia in early September, a high-profile business delegation, led by the Malaysian Trade and Development Corporation, arrived to explore investment potentials.

“The objective of this business mission is to explore strategic business collaboration with local companies in the exciting and rapidly growing market for various products and services in Cambodia,” Malaysian Ambassador to Cambodia H.E. Eldeen Husiani Mohd Hashim said at the event themed “Export Acceleration Mission to Cambodia” that was held in Phnom Penh from October 7 to 9.

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Eldeen: trade potentials are plenty.

Private participation

Some 25 companies representing various sectors namely food and beverage, healthcare, toiletries, construction, machinery and medical equipment are exploring ways to work with local partners to tap deeper into the local market.

“This programme today is one of the various efforts and initiatives undertaken to further expand bilateral trade and investment relations… They (Malaysia companies) are producers of internationally-certified and high-quality products and have been exporting its products to many parts of the world. These companies are very keen to work together with local Cambodian partners to explore and venture into the market,” added Eldeen.

Cambodia’s economy needs more foreign direct investments to strengthen its manufacturing sector, create jobs for millions of its young population, sustain the steady economic growth enjoyed over the past decades and upgrade the much-needed infrastructure to support the economy.

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The Kingdom’s agriculture sector remains a mainstay of the domestic economy. Photo: Post Staff

Thriving trade

In addition, the growing consumerism, especially among the young urban population will drive the demand for goods and services, thus making the Kingdom a fertile ground that offers a plethora of investment opportunities for foreign companies – for both small and medium enterprises as well as large corporations.

“I would like to welcome you to the exciting and vibrant Cambodia[n] market.

“With a growing middle income among the younger generation and a business friendly policy in attracting foreign direct investments into Cambodia.

“There is no better time than now to explore business opportunities in this interesting market,” said Eldeen, adding that it will also boost the integration of the Asean Economic Community.

Malaysia’s investments in Cambodia were valued at $2.74 billion involving 138 projects from January 1994 until July 2019. The primary areas were tourism and property development, industrial manufacturing, agriculture and utilities.

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Sereyvuth: Trade vital for Cambodia.

Um Sereyvuth, deputy director of the National Productivity Centre, Ministry of Industry and Handicraft, said that the delegation from Malaysia will help to open up new markets for Cambodian products.

“It is a good opportunity for Cambodia because Cambodia will have more trade connections with Malaysia and it will provide export opportunities, especially for agriculture products and raw materials.

“If Malaysia imports more products, it will help create more jobs, help farmers and reduce poverty.

“The trade mission gives opportunity for both nations to export and import,” said Sereyvuth.

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Local farmers produce high quality pepper for exports. Photo: Post Staff