This month’s edition covers investment, business, trade and other sectoral updates, with a foreword by Michael Tan, which is also included below. Click to view or download the PDF copy.

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Foreword by Aquarii CEO Michael Tan

The ASEAN Summits and the Water Festival were evidently Cambodia’s calendar highlights for the month of November.

Given the unprecedented range of complex and contentious issues and priorities that world leaders and senior officials had to deal with, Cambodia’s ASEAN Chairmanship was a resounding success.

In November, a few key businesses- and investment-related news and developments that are indicative of Cambodia’s socioeconomic development priorities are worth highlighting, which I have split into the following three sections, namely trade and investment, financial prudence and sustainable commitments.

Trade and Investment

As one of the most open and business-friendly emerging economies in the Asia Pacific region, Cambodia’s push for more FDIs and trade with various partner countries such as the US, China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, India, New Zealand, Bangladesh, and Brunei is commendable.

In the first 10 months of 2022, it secured USD 3.5 billion worth of investment projects and chalked up a year-on-year increase of 15% or USD 44.5 billion in total exports; exports to its two largest markets – the US (USD 7.6b) and China (USD 9.62b) – had also increased. More significantly, its bilateral trade with South Korea reached USD 920m between January to October, recording a y-o-y increase of 16% even though the FTA will only enter into force on December 1.

Financial Prudence

Cambodia is one of the fastest digitalizing economies in Asia. To ensure prudent financial controls and stability, the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) has adopted a series of calibrated measures and innovations in tandem with an evolving digital economy.

They include a tough stance on crypto and digital currencies, undertaking practical steps to ensure greater acceptance and circulation.

of the Khmer Riel so as to have the monetary tools to mitigate external shocks to the economy, introduced one of the world’s first central bank digital currencies (Bakong) – a blockchain-based payment system, and worked closely with the Credit Bureau of Cambodia to enable a transparent and stable financial sector. All these measures bode well for doing business and demonstrate progressive and pragmatic policy decisions.

Sustainable Commitments

Amidst the deteriorating global climate crisis, Cambodia’s power authorities signaled its resolve to achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 by entering into a transaction advisory services mandate with ADB to support the development of 2 gigawatts of solar power in the Kingdom.

The Transport Ministry also rolled out charging stations for electric vehicles, and the Environment Ministry stepped up engagements with international corporate buyers of Verified Emission Reductions (VERs) to protect Cambodia’s forests and fund programs against deforestation. This portends well for investors and businesses in renewables, green solutions, eco-tourism, electric vehicles assembly plants and related upstream and downstream industries.

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