Amid the threatening COVOD-19 situations worldwide, Korea and Cambodia held a signing ceremony via videoconferencing on last October 26th paving the way for much closer economic ties between the two countries. Cambodian Minister of Commerce, Pan Sorasak expressed during the ceremony “Today’s signing will be another milestone in strengthening Korea-Cambodia relations despite the difficult challenges of the pandemic”.
On the special occasion of Independence Day of Cambodia, November 9th and the endorsement of Cambodia-Korea FTA on October 26th, The Korean &English monthly magazine, ‘SeoulCity’ had an interview with H.E.ChringBotumRangsay, incoming Cambodian ambassador to Korea for her outlook ofexpansion of trade and investment opportunities between the two countriesduring her new tenure of office in Korea.Choe Nam-suk, Executive Vice Chairman of Korea Ambassador Culture & Friendship Association and Korean & English magazine ‘SeoulCity’ had an interview with new ambassador to Korea for the introduction of Cambodia’s major industry and products, investment environment, tourism industry, especially her point of view on strengthening further the economic and cultural ties between the two countries, etc. along with her brief biography.
H.E. ChringBotumRangsay was a secretary at the ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to Korea. She started her first government job in 2012 as a Kampot provincial coordinator for land integrationand has held the undersecretary of state post for the telecoms and foreign ministries.
Cambodia does provide some potentially rewarding options for investment from foreign companies. Although domestic market is small and relatively poor, investment may, to some extent, be justified by Cambodia’s location in the center of a large and growing regional market. The key benefit to foreign direct investment, however, is the opportunity to gain access to resources, chiefly cheap labor and agricultural land. With proper management techniques and technology, output of primary production and related manufactured goods could be significantly increased in a number of areas. Any business considering a long term investment in Cambodia needs to be aware of constraints of doing business, which include very high electricity costs, the ‘time tax’ of complying with Government regulations and under-developed infrastructure. Cambodia has a pool of human resources around 30 years old. The majority of the population are in the working age and they are also very dedicated workers. Cambodian migrant workers to Korea are dedicated, hard- working and quick learners. So in that way, we are hoping that Korean investors will consider Cambodia as the first country to invest in.Furthermore, we have a new investment law that provides various incentives to foreign investors. Cambodian embassy also plans to host a hybrid forum before the FTA goes into effect early next year to share detailed information on the implementation of the FTA between the two countries. Today, more than 340 Korean companies have their presence in Cambodia. I strongly believe the materialisation of our FTA will be a pivotal impetus to expand bilateral trade and investment opportunity between the two countries in a short period of time.
Challenges for industrial development
Although Cambodia exports mainly garment and products from agriculture and fisheries, it is striving to diversify the economy. It will be challenging for Cambodia to enhance the technology capacity of the many small and medium sized companies. We are hoping to get more investment in the area of technology and automobiles so Korea can transfer technology and equipment to Cambodia
Message as a new ambassador to Korea
First of all, I would like to say that I am very pleased and honored to be assigned as an ambassador to Korea. I am fully prepared to serve the best interests of Cambodia and Cambodian people in Korea. In my capacity as an ambassador to Korea, I have every intention to strengthen bilateral relations between Korea and Cambodia, especially after the Cambodia-Korea FTA is signed,which I strongly believe will increase further the volume of trade, investment opportunity and tourism industry, cultural exchanges between peoples of the two countries in the years to come.