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France to Invest in a New High-Speed Railway from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh

PHNOM PENH: A French investment delegation, led by the Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Olivier Becht, met with Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Peace Palace on Wednesday, 25 January 2023.

The Prime Minister's aide, Eang Sophalleth, told the media after the meeting that the French delegation expressed a strong faith in investing in Cambodia on the grounds that the Kingdom, that had once started from zero, managed to break the 20-year economic growth record.

"Cambodia continues to reform and create a favorable investment climate, and Cambodia also has a large middle-income population," the French investment delegation said.

For this reason, the French delegation said that it has decided to work with Cambodia to seek investment in high-speed rail, air, land and water, construction and other sectors, and is interested in finding out about more fields of investment from Prime Minister Hun Sen.

In response, the Prime Minister informed the French delegation that Cambodia has allowed France to invest 100% in the new high-speed railway from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. In addition, he said the two existing railways in the country also need to be expanded, and he encouraged for more private sector investment through BOT.

In regard to clean energy, the Prime Minister stated that 62% of Cambodia's current energy usage is clean, and the country is contacting more investors in to get involved in this field, without the need for the construction of new coal plants or the construction of the Vireak Dam across the Mekong River. He affirmed that Cambodia encourages the use of solar energy.

In addition, the Prime Minister also encouraged for more investment in the high-tech industry and processing industry, while Cambodia has raw materials — such as rubber, cashew, potatoes, and rice — which can be exported to other partner markets.

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