Cambodia Investment Review

Leader Talks: H.E. Hem Vanndy On Cambodia’s Growing Investment Climate For Singaporean Entrepreneurs, Businessman & Investors

Leader Talks: H.E. Hem Vanndy On Cambodia’s Growing Investment Climate For Singaporean Entrepreneurs, Businessman & Investors

Harrison White

Speaking at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore, H.E. Hem Vanndy delivered a keynote to over 100 Singaporean entrepreneurs, businessman and investors during the flagship “Cambodia: An Overlooked Destination for Business and Investment” seminar.

Organized by Aquarii BD Cambodia and supported by well-known organizations like Khmer Enterprise, Swisscontact, and Phillip Bank, this seminar received the stamp of approval from Cambodia’s Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MISTI) and the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), setting the stage for an insightful dialogue on fostering economic relations between Cambodia and Singapore.

H.E. Hem Vanndy, Cambodia’s Minister of Industry, Science, Technology, and Innovation, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Khmer Enterprise, took the lead in unveiling Cambodia’s current investment climate. “Cambodia stands at a pivotal juncture, ripe with opportunities across sectors from technology to agriculture. Our dynamic marketplace, eager for development, presents a unique proposition for Singaporean investors,” remarked Minister Hem Vanndy.

Cambodia’s Strong Economic Milestones Highlighted

In his keynote, Minister Hem Vanndy revisited Cambodia’s impressive economic milestones, including a consistent growth rate of over 7% per annum pre-COVID and optimistic forecasts exceeding 6% growth per year by major organizations like the World Bank and ADB. The recent overhaul of investment laws and enticing tax incentives underscored Cambodia’s commitment to fostering a conducive environment for foreign businesses.

Read more: Cambodian Delegation Highlights Trade and Investment Opportunities in Singapore at Sands Expo

The audience was able to have their questions answered by the minister during the panel discussion.

The Minister placed a significant emphasis on Cambodia’s strategic free trade agreements (FTAs) with powerhouse economies such as China and Korea, and broader collaborations within the ASEAN framework. A particularly notable FTA with the UAE was highlighted as a crucial step towards bridging Cambodia with the Middle Eastern markets. “This opens a myriad of opportunities beyond the APAC region, marking a new era of economic diplomacy and international trade relations for Cambodia,” stated Minister Hem Vanndy.

Addressing the potential of Cambodia’s market, Minister Hem Vanndy pointed out, “With a young demographic and population of 16.7 million, Cambodia’s growing purchasing power has many untapped opportunities. Moreover, the transition from an informal to a formal economy signifies not just growth but a transformative leap in our economic framework.”

Cambodia’s Informal Economy Transition Both A Challenge & Opportunity

The Minister candidly discussed the extensive informal economy of Cambodia, considering it both a challenge and a window of opportunity for substantial economic upliftment. “Formalizing this segment of our economy is more than just policy—it’s a vision to elevate the living standards of our people and to harness the full potential of our nation’s economy,” Minister Vanndy elaborated.

On taxation policies, Minister Hem Vanndy reassured, “Our recent agreements, especially with Singapore, aim to foster a seamless operational landscape for businesses, ensuring entities are not bogged down by double taxation. It’s a testament to our commitment to nurturing a healthy business ecosystem.”

“Cambodia: An Overlooked Destination for Business and Investment” was hosted at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore.

Renewable energy, according to Minister Hem Vanndy, is also an opportunity for investment with Cambodia’s commitment to sustainable development. “We are actively exploring partnerships and projects in renewable energy, from hydropower to solar, underscoring our role as a pivotal player in the region’s green energy transition,” he stated, highlighting the government’s focus on public-private collaborations in this sector.

A Focus On Digitization & Improving The Ease Of Doing Business

Touching upon the strides made in economic and structural reforms, the Minister emphasized the importance of digitization and the improving the ease of doing business as central to Cambodia’s growth narrative. “Our efforts extend beyond just infrastructure; it’s about creating a harmonious ecosystem where businesses, authorities, and the people move in unison towards sustainable development,” he noted.

Read more: Singaporean Owned Commercial Bank Phillip Trustee and OCIC Group Forge Partnership to Enhance Foreign Investments in Cambodia

Over 100 Singaporean entrepreneurs, businessman and investors during the flagship “Cambodia: An Overlooked Destination for Business and Investment” seminar.

Reflecting on Cambodia’s journey from a turbulent past to becoming one of the fastest-growing economies in the region, Minister Hem Vanndy shared, “The narrative of Cambodia is one of resilience, transformation, and relentless progress. Today, we are not just known for our historical landmarks but as a vibrant economy bustling with opportunities.”

As Cambodia continues to evolve, its strategic initiatives, including the development of 42 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and a forward-looking Pentagonal strategy, signify a new dawn for the nation’s economic landscape. “These zones are not just about infrastructure; they are about creating a conducive environment for innovation, growth, and prosperity,” concluded Minister Hem Vanndy.

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