September 6, 2012

India launches commerce office in Cambodia for trade, investment promotion


PHNOM PENH, Sept. 2 -- The office of the Indian Chamber of Commerce was officially launched here on Sunday to promote economic, trade and investment ties between the two countries.

The commerce office is to act on behalf of Indian business organizations and individuals for business facilitation, regulatory exchange as well as to promote India-Cambodia economic and bilateral relations, said a press release at the launching ceremony.

"It will act as the platform to guide Indian investments into Cambodia," said the press release.

Speaking at the event, Debasish Pattnaik, president of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia, said the office was to be a liaison between Cambodia and India business houses and representing the private sector by showcasing the multiple opportunities both countries have to offer to each other.

"Our goal is to offer access to resources and network opportunities for anyone interested or active in investment or trade amongst Cambodia or India," said Pattnaik, who is also vice chairman and CEO of a Cambodia-based D&D Pattnaik Group of Companies.

Cambodia, Iran agree to strengthen economic cooperation


PHNOM PENH, Sept. 3 -- Cambodia and Iran had agreed to enhance bilateral relations and cooperation in economics, trade, investment and culture, a Cambodian senior official said Monday.

The verbal agreement was made between Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Aug. 30 when Hun Sen attended the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement on Aug. 30-31 in Iran.

"Both sides agreed to strengthen bilateral ties, especially in economics, trade, investment and culture," Aun Porn Moniroth, secretary of State at Cambodian Ministry of Economy and Finance, told reporters.

He said the two leaders advised both sides' officials to discuss and set out practical measures to boost the cooperation.

"The two leaders also agreed to boost cooperation in oil and gas. In this sense, Iran will help Cambodia in human resources development," said Moniroth.

Besides, Iran promised to support Cambodia's candidacy as the non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in the 2013-2014 term.

Cambodia sees slight decrease in rice export in 7 months due to price competition


PHNOM PENH, Sept. 6 -- Cambodia had exported 89,800 tons of milled rice in the first seven months of this year, a 2.6 percent drop from 92,200 tons at the same period in a year ago, showed the statistics from the Ministry of Commerce's Camcontrol Department on Thursday.

However, the revenues from the export had increased by 23 percent to 63.4 million U.S. dollars during the January-July period this year thanks to rising rice prices in the international market.

Officials said that the decline in export quantity was due to tough competition in prices with other countries.

"The decline in export is due to tough price competition in the global market," said Khuon Savuth, chief of the Camcontrol Department's statistics division. "More importantly, we notice that the prices of Vietnamese and Indian rice are cheaper than us. "

Nonetheless, he expressed optimism that rice export would see growth again this year thanks to a newly signed rice agreement between Cambodia and Indonesia.

Indonesia signed last week to buy at least 100,000 tons of rice a year from Cambodia.

Insurance urged for CSX listings


The Ministry of Economy and Finance yesterday urged companies intending to list on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) to buy insurance to bolster public confidence.

Vice President Bo Chanpiro of the Financial Industry Department of the Ministry of Economy and Finance said the finance sector relies not only on the banks and the securities exchange, but also on the insurance industry.

“The insurance companies play a very important role in investor security at exchanges around the world and both sectors reply upon each other,” he said. “An insurance company cannot succeed without a securities exchange and a securities exchange has no full power to develop if it has no insurance presence,” he said.

CSX Committee Deputy Manager Sou Socheat said the Cambodia Security Exchange still faces hurdles.

“The CSX needs confidence. In fact, building confidence requires insurance but many insurance products are complex.”

Forte Insurance General Manager York Chamroeunreth said it was very important to build risk awareness for future companies. He said Forte Insurance had compensated many millions of dollars for staff mistakes that caused the company to lose benefits and income.

India shows interest in cashew nuts processing


India is considering establishing a cashew nut processing factory in Cambodia to curb exports to India from third countries, according to officials at the Indian embassy.

Dinesh Patniak, the ambassador to Cambodia, said Cambodia produced a lot of cashew nuts that were sent to Vietnam for processing, then exported to India.

“We thought about why the nuts have been exported by Vietnam to India. Why don’t we come to Cambodia and set up a processing factory here?

“So we’ve already sent our delegates to check the possibility of conducting a study to find out where most of the cashew nut trees are planted and where we can establish the plant.”

Ensure fairness, Kirk advises


US Trade Representative Ron Kirk
Cambodia needs to ensure fair treatment of both domestic and foreign investors if it wants to attract more foreign investors, accordsing to US Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

Kirk presented the idea during a press conference last week in Siem Reap durig the ASEAN-US Business Summit by saying that Cambodia has done a good job in opening its economy to the world. However, he said, the country still had more work to do.

“Generally, what businesses want is predictability, transparency, good rules or laws, strong social protection that they can get a good work force, a good location, and give them equal treatment – there is no discrimination,” he said.

Silk Air smoothly running 20 years on


Silk Air Cambodia Manager Tan Han Soon
This month Singapore-based regional carrier Silk Air is offering discounts on trips booked before the end of this month for travel until March 31 next year.

From Phnom Penh, fares include US$768 for a return trip to Darwin, Australia, not including taxes and surcharges, and $1,218 to and from Frankfurt, London or Paris, or service to Houston, Los Angeles or New York for $1,358, as well as deals to India and elsewhere in Australia.  The fares are available through the website at or over the counter at Silk Air’s office in the Hotel Intercontinental complex.

September 3, 2012

ASEAN push for integration


ASEAN economic ministers on Friday agreed to spur stronger cooperation and make more of an effort to enhance the region’s integration in preparation for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.

Speaking during the press conference on the closing of the 44th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings in Siem Reap during the last week in August, Cham Prasidh, Cambodia’s ASEAN economic minister, highlighted the fruitful and successful outcome of the meetings, however he said challenges still remain to be addressed and more work is to be done before the group is fully ready for integration.

“We believe that with sound political input and increased political will expressed by the leaders, those hesitations would be erased and there will be fewer challenges for us to achieve the goal of integration,” said Cham Prasidh.

$70m from India for power


Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik of India to Cambodia
India is financing the construction of a US$70 million transmission line to bring electricity from hydroelectric projects in Laos to Cambodia, according to Indian Chamber of Commerce President Debasish Pattnaik.

Speaking yesterday after the official launch of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (ICC), Pattnaik said Laos has signed an agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to finance the transmission lines from Laos to Stueng Trang and the $70 million soft loan from the Indian government would finance the line from Stueng Trang to Kratie.

March 22, 2012

Ford plant opens in Sihanoukville


A Ford assembly plant in Preah Sihanouk province will supply Cambodia’s limited but growing car market, the American carmaker’s local representative RMA Cambodia announced yesterday.

The US$3 million investment, wholly owned by RMA, has a capacity of up to 6,000 vehicles per year, and is expected to drop the domestic price of the Ford Everest model by up to 25 per cent, according to RMA CEO Rami Sharaf.

Initial production figures, however, were undetermined as the Kingdom’s second vehicle assembler tested the market.

“We’re cascading down to the consumer,” Sharaf, who is also chairman of the Cambodia Automotive Industry Chamber, said yesterday. “Production will depend on the demand we see in the market this year.”