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MPWT Senior Minister Sun Chanthol Urges More Infrastructure Investments from Foreign Investors

PHNOM PENH: On Thursday, the Minister of Public Works and Transport and Chairman of the ASEAN Transport Ministers Meetin Senior Minister Sun Chanthol has guested on CNBC TV and shared the Ministry's current plans, connectivity, and the future of transportation in Cambodia.

The Minister hyped-up that the introduction of electric vehicles (EV) is in the early stage of development in Cambodia. Cambodia has drafted their land transport policy to encourage Cambodian people to use EV. He stated that his agency is looking for investors in the charging stations. At present, there are no charging stations so it's hard to convince people to purchase EV’s.

The Senior Minister has also stated that the government will work with the private sector together on the Public Private Partnership basis to meet this financing gap and ensure that adequate charging stations are installed and to ensure that the disposal of old batteries are done properly. The Ministry is currently working with the Ministry of Economy and Finance to reduce the effective tax rate for the electric vehicle by 50% from that of combustion engine vehicles. The ministry is focused on Foreign Direct Investment and the development growth of Cambodia stating that FDI in general averages about three billion US dollars per year in various projects.

Minister also briefed the audience that since Cambodia achieved peace and stability in 1998 the country has managed to construct 15,000 kilometres of paved, national, provincial and rural roads, has built 20 bridges across the Mekong River, Bassack River and the Tole Sap River, upgraded three airports to international standards in Phnom Penn and Sihanoukville, and continue to develop on a Build Operate Transfer (BOT) basis the country’s three international airports in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Koh Kong.

Moreover, a major expressway, costing over two billion US dollars is close to completion linking the capital city Phnom Penh to the coastal deep-sea port of Sihanoukville on a BOT basis, Cambodia’s infrastructure funding comes from many development partners, including China, Japan, Korea, World bank, ADB, Thailand, Vietnam as well as the country’s own budget. Hence, Cambodia does not rely on China for 10 percent funding for her infrastructure development.

The Senior minister has urged companies in the United States to consider participating in the bidding process to build Cambodia’s infrastructure. The Minister noted that the bidding processes are up to international standards in adherence with World Bank and JICA procedures. He also encouraged the private sector to participate in building a quality infrastructure in Cambodia on a PPP and BOT basis. Regarding investment policy, he has restated that Cambodia is a small open economy that has a liberal investment regime in Asia, with the government’s role being that of facilitator for the private sector.

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