Opportunities in trade, investment abound

President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife on arrival at the Royal Palace where they are greeted by King Norodom Sihamoni. Dr Tan, who is on a four-day state visit, will go to Siem Reap today.
President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife on arrival at the Royal Palace where they are greeted by King Norodom Sihamoni. Dr Tan, who is on a four-day state visit, will go to Siem Reap today.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Bilateral trade and investment between Singapore and Cambodia are healthy, and look set to flourish further in the coming years.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam yesterday said Singaporean investors continue to look for new opportunities in Cambodia to meet current economic challenges.

Speaking at a royal banquet held in his honour by Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, he cited agriculture and property company HLH Group, which is developing affordable, quality housing in the port city of Sihanoukville.

He also highlighted solar company Sunseap Group, which will roll out a large-scale solar farm project in Svay Rieng province.

Dr Tan, who is in Cambodia on a four-day state visit, added that an avoidance of double taxation agreement signed by both countries last year - Cambodia's first such agreement - will make it easier for their companies to do business with each other once it is ratified.

 

In his toast speech at the Royal Palace, King Sihamoni said he believes his country will become a strong economic partner of Singapore's.

In 2015, the Republic was Cambodia's eighth-largest trading partner and third-largest investor.

The Singaporean community in Cambodia believes in the country's long-term potential, Dr Tan noted.

The two countries are also well connected, with 43 weekly flights linking Singapore to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

"Singapore was an early believer in Siem Reap's potential as a hub for visitors to Cambodia, and supported greater air connectivity to open up Siem Reap," said Dr Tan.

"Today, I am happy to see that Siem Reap is a bustling destination, with some two million visitors to Angkor Wat in 2015."

More than 12,800 Cambodian officials have attended training courses under the Singapore Cooperation Programme since it started in 1992.

And Singapore will continue to support Cambodia's human resource development, Dr Tan said.

Cambodia is the Republic's third-largest recipient of technical assistance.

King Sihamoni, speaking in Khmer, thanked Singapore for its continuing assistance and firm support. The strides Cambodia has made, he added, are due to support from friendly countries such as Singapore during both hard times and times of peace.

"I hope that our friend Singapore will continue to share its valuable experiences, knowledge and technologies with our nation, in addition to further assistance towards the development of Cambodia's economy," he said.

Dr Tan started the second day of his state visit with a ceremonial welcome at the Royal Palace, followed by an audience with King Sihamoni and a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Dr Tan also paid his respects at the monument of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk yesterday.

He heads to Siem Reap today.

Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 10, 2017, with the headline 'Opportunities in trade, investment abound'. Print Edition | Subscribe