Cambodia approved a total of 831 investment projects worth more than $22.56 billion between January 2016 and August this year, according to data released on Thursday by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).
The government approved 171 projects worth $3.6 billion in 2016, 183 projects worth $6.3 billion in 2017 and 255 projects worth $6.4 billion last year, the data shows.
During the first eight months of this year, the CDC approved 222 projects worth more than $6 billion, 81 projects – or $1.88 billion – more compared to the same period last year.
During the period, local investors accounted for 44.7 per cent of investment, followed by Chinese investors (35.31 per cent), Japanese (7.87 per cent), Vietnamese (2.99 per cent), Singaporeans (1.85 per cent), South Koreans (1.79 per cent), Malaysians (1.48 per cent), Thais (1.36 per cent) and other countries (2.46 per cent).
Investment in the tourism sector was highest at 47 per cent, followed by infrastructure investment (23 per cent), industry and manufacturing sector investment (23 per cent) and agriculture and agro-industry investment (six per cent).
Speaking at a press conference on Investment Potential in Cambodia, held at the Office of the Council of Ministers on Thursday, Chea Vuthy, deputy secretary-general of the CDC’s Cambodian Investment Board, said political stability and strong economic growth over the past two decades has led to the increase in both local and international investors.
Cambodia has also signed bilateral agreements on investment protection with 29 countries, which have further attracted foreign investors to the Kingdom, he said.
“The government of Cambodia has recently announced a series of strong measures aimed at ensuring that Cambodia remains competitive and attractive, as well as ensuring the advent of new industry technologies through investors to Cambodia,” he said.
Hong Vannak, a researcher at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the data reflects macroeconomic stability in the Kingdom, with the government currently reforming laws associated with doing business.
Referring to the economic consequences associated with the withdrawal of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement, he said the government should have stimulus policies in place for investors and more efficient instruments of state revenue mobilisation.
“With the investment growth that the CDC shows at this time, Cambodia must also be prepared in case of a change in the EU’s preferential trade status,” he said.