Vietnam investment in Cambodia hits US$2.5 bil

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese enterprises so far have invested in 124 projects in Cambodia with total registered capital of some US$2.5 billion, four times higher than the figure in 2009.

As such, Vietnam is now among the top five investors in Cambodia, said the Association of Vietnamese Investors in Cambodia (AVIC) at a conference to review three years promoting Vietnam trade and investment in Cambodia held in Phnom Penh this Tuesday.

In 2010, Vietnam had 41 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects worth US$566 million in Cambodia. In 2011, the number of projects rose to 90 and investment capital reached US$2 billion.

Cambodia ranks second among 50 nations and territories as destinations of Vietnam’s outbound investment, said AVIC.

Vietnamese investors in Cambodia focus on agriculture, forestry, energy, mineral mining, finance-banking, aviation and telecommunications. Notable investors are BIDV, Viettel, PVN, Vietnam Airlines, HAGL, VinaCapital, Vinafood2, Vinacomin, Saigontourist and Saigon Co.op.

Over the past three years, Vietnamese enterprises have contributed to economic growth and budget revenue of Cambodia. Moreover, local firms have created jobs for more than 30,000 Cambodian laborers and lured tourists to this country, said a report of AVIC.

AVIC sets a goal that Vietnam investment in Cambodia will reach US$3-3.2 billion and the two-way trade turnover will amount to US$5 billion by 2015.

By then, several projects will have been put into operation, including Cho Ray-Phnom Penh Hospital, the sugar-alcohol-power plant 2 and the rubber planting projects of HAGL and CT Group.

AVIC suggested the two countries sign an agreement on double tax avoidance and a cooperation agreement on mining, energy and agriculture.

Also on Tuesday, Five Star Group inaugurated the Cambodia Five Star International Fertilizer Factory in Kean Svay District, Kandal Province. It is the biggest fertilizer plant in Cambodia with total investment capital of US$79 million.

The plant produces NPK fertilizer with an annual output of 300,000 tons in the first phase and 500,000 tons in the second phase. Its products will meet 50% of the demand for NPK fertilizer in Cambodia.

In the first 11 months, the two-way trade between Vietnam and Cambodia reached US$2.96 billion, which is estimated to rise to US$3.3 billion by the year’s end, up 17.8% year-on-year.

In particular, Vietnam exported US$2.52 billion worth of products to Cambodia, an increase of 17.7% over the same period last year, making Vietnam the second largest trade partner of Cambodia.

Vietnam’s major export items to Cambodia were fuels, iron, steel, textile and garment. Meanwhile, Cambodia mainly exported rubber and tobacco to Vietnam.

In the first ten months of 2012, Cambodia welcomed nearly 640,000 Vietnamese tourist arrivals, up 24% year-on-year, accounting for 23.3% of the total number of foreign tourist arrivals in Cambodia.

For the whole year, the number of Vietnamese tourist arrivals in Cambodia is forecast at over 750,000, or a growth of 25% against 2011, and thus Vietnam would remain the biggest visitor-generating market for Cambodia.

* Local investors have won licenses to develop 415 projects in Laos with the total capital of US$5 billion, said Tran Bac Ha, chairman of the Association of Vietnamese Investors in Laos (AVIL) and Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV).

Speaking to Lao Party General Secretary and State President Choummaly Sayasone during his visit to BIDV on Wednesday, Ha said bilateral trade between the two nations has reached over US$900 million this year, up 22% compared to 2011. This figure is expected to hit US$2 billion in 2015.

Vietnam ranks third among 52 nations and territories investing in Laos, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Although investors still meet challenges due to economic crisis impacts, projects of Vietnamese firms in Laos have been implemented as scheduled, Ha said. These projects have created jobs to around 20,000 laborers in Laos.

Established in 2011, AVIL has 60 members being large corporations and groups in Vietnam. BIDV is the chair of this association, acting as a bridge between enterprises and managing agencies of the two countries, speeding up investment and economic relationship of both sides.

Ha asked for approval for AVIL to take part in building up investment strategy documents, investment regulations in Laos and assessment of investor capability.

Source: SGT

Vietnamese enterprises, investment in Cambodia, rubber, tobacco