Vietnamese businesses are enjoying more investment opportunities in Cambodia thanks to preferential trade conditions offered by both countries.

Vietnam is expected to increase its Cambodian market investments to US$3.2 billion. The value of two-day trade is predicted to hit US$5 billion in 2015.

Cambodian Planning Minister Chhay Than says Cambodia is improving conditions for foreign investors, including those from Vietnam.

A Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia ministerial meeting has been scheduled for the end of March 2013 to draw up plans aimed at developing the triangle area into a famous industrial and rubber production zone, he says.

According to Vietnam Customs’ 2007 statistics, Vietnam-Cambodia trade turnover stood at US$1.19 billion with Vietnamese exports valued at US$991 million. One year later, Vietnam increased its Cambodian export revenue by 31 percent to US$1.431 billion, representing a trade surplus of US$1.221 billion.

In 2009, despite the repercussions of the global economic downturn, the two countries’ trade value stabilised at US$1.333 billion, with Vietnam’s trade surplus dropping slightly to US$961 million. In 2010, trade turnover resumed its upward trend, reaching US$1.83 billion with Vietnamese exports contributing US$1.552 billion. 2011’s figure hit US$2.829 billion—up 54.75 percent—and Vietnam’s export revenue climbed to US$2.4 billion.

Last year’s two-way trade value was estimated at US$3.3 billion. Vietnamese exports contributed US$2.9 billion.

Vietnam is currently Cambodia’s second largest trade partner. The country’s key Cambodian exports include plastic home appliances, instant noodle, and spare electric parts. It imports mainly rubber, wood, tobacco, and raw materials for the garments and textiles sector.

The Vietnam Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) statistics show that by the end of 2012, Vietnam had 104 projects in Cambodia representing a total registered capital of US$2.42 billion— four times higher than the previous three years’ level.  

Vietnamese businesses disbursed nearly US$300 million in Cambodia in various socio-economically important fields like telecommunications, agriculture, and financial services.

Minister Chhay Than is optimistic about bilateral trade’s prospects. He says, however, that recent two-way trade turnover has yet to realise the relationship’s full potential.

He suggests both countries should reinvigorate trade relations to fulfill the set two-way trade turnover target of US$5 billion in 2015.

Le Minh Dien, the MPI’s External Economic Department Deputy Head, says Vietnamese businesses should exploit their advantages and the incentivised investment policies in Cambodia’s telecommunications and industrial tree planting.

Exploring opportunities in emerging industries like construction and real estate would also be wise, he adds.

Source: VOV