Trade body chief asks Oz for mine, energy investors, aid in agriculture
The head of Cambodia’s apex trade body on April 1 asked Australia to provide technical assistance in agriculture and encourage additional investment in the Kingdom, with an eye to strengthening business, investment and economic relations between the two countries.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) president Kith Meng made the appeal at a meeting with Australian ambassador Pablo Kang and Rebecca Ball, Australian Senior Trade Commissioner for Cambodia and Vietnam.
Meng highlighted that the two countries have maintained 70 years of official diplomatic relations – established on January 15, 1952 – and said Australia plays an important role in boosting Cambodia’s economic growth as a frontrunner in agricultural development and major investor in mining, energy and a host of other sectors.
Although acknowledging that Australian businesses maintain a strong presence in Cambodia, he indicated an urgency for more investment.
Spotlighting Australia’s diverse portfolio of advanced technologies and extensive expertise in agriculture, Meng asked Canberra to share technical knowledge in cultivation methods, harvesting, processing and marketing, in support of the Kingdom’s agricultural sector.
“In addition, I also welcome Australian investment in mining, energy and manufacturing,” he said.
Meng also offered to help organise business and investment promotion events aimed at bridging the two countries.
The ambassador said that Canberra has always supported the Cambodian agricultural sector and developed projects to prop up its supply chains, including agro-industrial parks and other initiatives meant to improve phytosanitary and other product standards, spur agricultural diversification, and develop efficient irrigation systems.
He also pointed out that Australian companies are no strangers to the Cambodian investment scene, mentioning that one such firm is currently extracting gold in Mondulkiri province, and that others have entered the renewable energy business.
The trade commissioner also expressed her desire to scale up cooperation with the CCC, to get to know its members, and to explore possible joint ventures with Australian firms.
CCC director-general Nguon Meng Tech echoed Meng’s sentiment, describing Australia as a developed country with a wide range of skills and experience in agriculture and mineral resources, saying that Australian investment would translate into substantial benefits for Cambodia.
“Australia is a country that specialises in agriculture and mining, so Cambodia really needs Australian involvement, both in terms of technology and investment,” he told The Post on April 4.
According to Meng Tech, the CCC is planning to acquaint Australian investors with the Cambodian market, for them to study and look into investing in local agriculture and mining.
Despite continued headwinds from the Covid-19 crisis, trade between the two countries was to the tune of $324 million last year, up by 52 per cent from $213.64 million in 2020, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Although import and export figures for 2021 were not immediately available, the ministry earlier reported that the Kingdom exported $133.92 million worth of merchandise to Australia in 2020 – up by 0.26 per cent over 2019 – and imported $79.72 million, surging by 10.41 per cent year-on-year.
Source from: Hin Pisei(2022).Trade body chief asks Oz for mine, energy investors, aid in agriculture. Retrieve from: The Phnom Penh Post (April 6, 2022). https://www.phnompenhpost.com/business/trade-body-chief-asks-oz-mine-energy-investors-aid-agriculture