Recognizing that the real economic growth necessary to achieve the country’s developmental goals lies in the development of a healthy private sector, the Cambodian government has undertaken a reforms programme to promote private sector investment. As part of this programme, the Law on Foreign Investment in the Kingdom of Cambodia established the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC). This law made the CDC the highest decision-making body of the government for private and public sector investment. It is chaired by the Prime Minister and composed of senior ministers from related government agencies.The Cambodian Investment Board (CIB) and the Cambodian Special Economic Zone Board (CSEZB) are the CDC’s operational arms for private sector investment. CIB deals with investment projects out of special economic zones (SEZs) and CSEZB takes charge of investment projects in SEZs.
To facilitate foreign investment, Cambodia has created special economic zones (SEZs), which provide ready access to land, infrastructure and other services to help in the setup and operation of businesses. Currently there are 13 SEZs which have attracted many MNCs to Cambodia. In recent years the Phnom Penh SEZ has attracted large companies like Coca-Cola (which invested US$100 million), Tiffany & Co and American Licorice.
In the short term the government will focus on containing the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak, which will include implementing lockdowns in major urban areas. In the medium term the government’s policy efforts will shift to trade and investment liberalisation. This will include negotiating new FTAs with South Korea, the UK, Japan and Russia.
Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy and a multi-party liberal democracy with a unitary structure and parliamentary form of government. According to the constitution, the king is the head of the state and is chosen from among royal descendants by the Royal Throne Council. Currently Norodom Sihamoni, chosen by the Royal Council of the Throne, is the head of state. The head of government is the Prime Minister, currently Hun Sen, the longest serving non-royal leader in Southeast Asia, at the helm in Cambodia since 1985.
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