Malaysians eye business, investment expansion in Cambodia

Malaysian investments are among the major foreign direct investments in Cambodia as more Malaysian investors have sought an understanding of the investment opportunities in the Kingdom.

Data from the Council for the Development of Cambodia showed that the Malaysian investment totalled $120 million from 2019 to 2021.

In 2021 alone, the investment was valued at $16.5 million, decreasing from $98.5 million registered in 2020.

However, the Kingdom is expected to lure Malaysian investors more due to the new investment law and the bilateral free trade agreements with China and South Korea, particularly in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Lim Heng, vice president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, yesterday said that more investment from Malaysia to Cambodia is in line with the government and private sector’s efforts to attract foreign investment to Cambodia.

“Malaysian investors are good partners and they are successful in investing in Cambodia. The presence of Malaysian investment in Cambodia is in line with the Asean Economic Community in which we connect investors and businessmen in the bloc,” Heng said.

More Malaysian investment and other foreign investors will come to Cambodia as the country has fully reopened its socio-economic activities and has a high rate of vaccinated population, Heng said.

“Cambodia has more chances of export to the US, to EU under zero-tariff trade preference in attracting, particularly the bilateral FTA with China and South Korea. Not only Malaysian investors and investors from the bloc, as well as other foreign FDIs will look in Cambodia for investment opportunities,” Heng said.

According to a report of the National Bank of Cambodia, Malaysian investments are mainly in the sectors of finance, manufacturing, agriculture, hotel and restaurant, electricity, and construction.

As of 2021, the foreign direct investment in Cambodia amounted to $41 billion, a year-on-year increase of 11.2 percent.

Of the total, Malaysian investment accounts for 4.6 percent, data read.

In early March, 52 Malaysian representatives from 36 companies on an ‘SME Malaysia Trade Mission to Cambodia’ sought investment and business potential in Cambodia after both countries reopened their economies following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Cambodia-Malaysia trade volume surpassed $500 million in 2021, rising by 13.14 percent over a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Cambodia’s exports to Malaysia exceeded $101 million, a year-on-year increase of 2.6 percent, and imports were valued at $399 million, a 16 percent year-on-year increase.