Recently, ministries, branches, and localities of Vietnam and Cambodia have worked closely together in developing a legal framework to encourage investment and trade cooperation activities through the signing of bilateral and multilateral treaties and agreements.

The two sides also have many activities of exchanging information, strengthening state management, promoting and supporting, seeking ways to solve difficulties, obstacles and creating favorable conditions for enterprises of the two countries to invest and trade in each nation.

Photo: Ministry of Planning and Investment

This is one of the remarks made by Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung at the Vietnam-Cambodia Trade and Investment Promotion Conference, hosted by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, in coordination with the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Council for the Development of Cambodia of the Kingdom of Cambodia on October 4, 2019. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Royal Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen co-chaired the Conference.

Speaking on the status of cooperation on investment and trade of Vietnamese enterprises to Cambodia, Minister Nguyen Chi Dung emphasized, with good neighborliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation, the cooperation relationship between Vietnam and Cambodia over the past time has been continuously developing and achieved remarkable results. Regarding investment cooperation, as of September 2019, Vietnam had 178 projects investing in Cambodia, with a total registered capital of approximately 2.8 billion USD, Cambodia ranked 3rd out of 76 countries and territories with FDI activities from Vietnam. Particularly in the first 9 months of 2019, Vietnam’s investment capital in Cambodia reached approximately 50.4 million USD, up 49.5% over the same period in 2018.

Vietnam’s investment activities in Cambodia focus on areas such as agriculture, banking, telecommunications – information technology, industrial production, processing – manufacturing, etc. Up to now, many projects have been put into stable, permanent and effective operation, and contributed to the socio-economic development of Cambodia through paying the state budget, actively contributing to social security, creating jobs, training and improving skills and qualifications of the labor force, participating to the infrastructure development and improvement in Cambodia.

In the opposite direction, up to now, Cambodia has had 21 projects investing in Vietnam with a total registered capital of 63.7 million USD. Cambodia’s investment in Vietnam is concentrated mainly in the fields of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, trading, warehouse and transportation, manufacturing and processing technology, etc. Particularly in the first 9 months of 2019, Cambodia’s investment capital in Vietnam reached 3.2 million USD.

Regarding trade, the trade turnover between the two countries has maintained a high and persistent increase in recent years. In 2018, it reached 4.7 billion USD, up nearly 24% over the same period. Particularly in the first 8 months of 2019, it reached 4 billion USD, up 13% over the same period in 2018. With the current growth momentum, the bilateral trade turnover will likely reach 5 billion USD by the end of 2019 (the target was set for 2020).

The investment and trade promotion, supposition activities have also been boosted at both state and enterprise levels. Since 2009, the two countries have jointly organized 05 investment cooperation conferences at the Government level. The latest conference is the Vietnam-Cambodia Business Forum at the end of 2018 in Hanoi. Also, many ministries and branches of the two countries have paid visits, worked, reviewed the implementation of agreements relating to the investment, and facilitated the flowing deployment of Vietnamese enterprises’ investment projects in Cambodia. However, Vietnam’s investment activities in Cambodia in the last time also had some shortcomings and limitations, and was not yet commensurate with the potential, advantages, and expectations of the Governments of the two countries.

Photo: Ministry of Planning and Investment

To further promote trade and investment activities between Vietnam and Cambodia in the coming time, Minister Nguyen Chi Dung said that besides continuing to maintain, consolidate and develop the achieved areas such as agriculture, forestry, telecommunications, banking, etc. the two sides should promote investment cooperation in areas that bring about sustainable efficiency such as production and processing of clean agricultural and forestry products, serving and meeting the requirements, standards of the people’s consumption needs of the two countries and export, expanding to several high-quality services such as tourism, health care, education, and other services which provide higher added value.

Besides, the state agencies of the two sides should continue to deploy the signed treaties and agreements between the two sides to create legal basis for ensuring safety for investment and business activities and clearing difficulties, obstacles of enterprises; implement the “Joint Framework Agreement on Vietnam-Cambodia Economic Connectivity until 2030”. The two sides need to sign Vietnam – Cambodia Border Trade Agreement soon.

We need to strengthen the improvement of investment and business legal system and accelerate the reform of administrative procedures relating to investment and business; ensure transparency, uniformity and consistency from the Central to local levels; at the same time, continue upgrading and completing the infrastructure system, developing high-quality human resources with preference policies to create an environment to attract and promote investment and trade. Also, we need frequently to maintain the dialogue mechanism between the Governments’ agencies with enterprises to find ways to solve the difficulties and obstacles of enterprises, promote the early and effective implementation of the investment projects. Along with that, it is necessary to strengthen the role of Business Associations. Accordingly, the Businesses Associations and investors of the two sides need to strengthen the activities of connecting, promoting and supporting investors to operate effectively, and at the same time connecting with relevant agencies of Cambodia to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Vietnamese investors in Cambodia.

Minister Nguyen Chi Dung suggested that representatives some enterprises and investors of the two countries need to point out opportunities and difficulties for the relating agencies of the two countries to acknowledge and take measures to timely support and untangle so that investment and business activities of the enterprises work effectively. At the same time, he wishes Cambodia’s Government, the Council for the Development of Cambodia and related agencies continue to support and create favorable conditions for Vietnamese enterprises to invest and trade in Cambodia. For its part, the Ministry of Planning and Investment of Vietnam will coordinate with Vietnamese and Cambodian relevant ministries and branches to do their best to support the effective investment and business of Vietnamese enterprises in Cambodia and facilitate the best conditions for Cambodian enterprises to invest and do business in Vietnam, Minister Nguyen Chi Dung affirmed./.

Ministry of Planning and Investment