Monthly Archives: January 2013
Colonial Lake Hotel is a brand new hotel overlooking the Kansaign lake, built in 2012. This unique property is in the up and coming tourism center of Banlung, Ratanakiri. It is conveniently located along the main road close to the lake shore.
The 2 star self- rated hotel is designed in French-colonial architecture decoration to be a piece of paradise in a peaceful remote region.
The property consists of 15 luxuriously appointed rooms which come fully furnished with the latest facility. The hotel also comes with a huge open space for the prime restaurant, bar, lounge and fitness centre.
Cambodian Petrochemical Company and Sinomach China Perfect Machinery Industry Corp jointly announced on Friday to build the first oil refinery in Cambodia and the construction is expected to be completed at the end of 2015.
Zhang Sugang, president of Sinomach China Perfect Machinery Industry Corp, said the oil refinery will cost 2.3 billion U.S. dollars and it will take 36 months to be constructed on the 80- hectare area within the boundary of Preah Sihanouk province and Kampot province.
“When the construction is completed, the plant will be capable to produce 5 million tons of oil a year,” he said after a signing ceremony here.
He said the firm’s decision to invest in Cambodia was thanks to well-developed relationship between China and Cambodia, and Cambodia’s potential for oil industry.
“We believe that when the project comes to fruition, it will greatly contribute to developing Cambodian economy,” he said.
During a signing ceremony on Friday, the Cambodia government signed to grant an oil refinery license to Cambodian Petrochemical Company to build the factory.
The agreement was inked between Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, Chairman of Cambodian National Petroleum Authority, and Siv Kong Triv, president of Cambodian Petrochemical Company.
Also, there was a contract signing between Siv Kong Triv and Zhang Sugang on the engineering procurement construction for the factory.
The ceremony was also witnessed by Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Pan Guangxue.
Mao Chetra, administration chief of Cambodian Petrochemical Company, said the firm would build an oil refinery with the high- and-latest technology that has not been used in Southeast Asian nations.
“The would-be plant will help boost the development of Cambodian economy, increase state’s revenues and generate thousands of jobs,” he said.
Speaking after the ceremony, Sok An said the oil refinery project reflected the progress in developing Cambodian oil and gas sector.
“This also mirrors local and foreign investors’ trust in Cambodian business and political situation,” he said. “When the project is completed, it will greatly contribute to developing economy and reducing poverty in Cambodia.”
Sok An said that currently, Cambodia’s oil demand is more than 1 million tons a year, but the demand will reach 3 or 4 million tons a year in coming years thanks to a steadily growing economic size.
According to the figures recorded by the Ministry of Commerce, the country spent 1.33 billion U.S. dollars to buy 1.35 million tons of oil from Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore in the first ten months of this year.
The country’s seabed is believed to be rich in oil and gas, but exploitation is not made yet.
Sok An said that U.S.’ Chevron has invested about 150 million U. S. dollars for oil and gas exploration in Cambodia’s offshore Block A and it is estimated that the firm needs to invest another 600 million U.S. dollars to exploit oil and gas from the Block.
“But, now, the negotiations between the government and the company have not yet completed on the issue of tax payment,” he said.
Cambodian Government expects that it will earn tax revenues of 200 million U.S. dollars a year from oil and gas sector when oil production begins.
Demand for brand new cars in Cambodia has remarkably increased in 2012 thanks to robust economic growth, enhanced social security and political stability, major automobile dealers said Monday.
“We sold about 800 units this year, up from 500 units last year, ”
Kong Nuon, president of Toyota Cambodia, the exclusive dealer of Japanese brand Toyota, told Xinhua in an interview.
According to Kong Nuon, the country’s new car demands are around 2,000 units a year. Currently, more than a dozen companies in Cambodia have imported brand new cars.
China-made Great Wall brand automobiles also saw good sales this year, said Kan Pisey, general manger of Worldwide Garage, the exclusive importer of the cars from Beijing. “We have seen a steady increase in sales since our presence here in January 2010,” he told Xinhua.”We are new, but due to our promotion and our auto’s good quality, many consumers have switched to use our cars.”
Pisey declined to disclose the number of cars the company has sold this year, citing business confidentiality. “We can say that Cambodia’s car market has ample room for growth, “he said. “We are negotiating with the Beijing-based Great Wall Automobile Manufacturer in order to build an auto assembly plant here.”
An exclusive dealer of the U.S.’Ford brand vehicle in Cambodia said that the firm saw 15 percent rise in sales in 2012. “In fact, demand was really larger than the supply this year. If we had enough cars for customers, the growth would be up by 50 percent, not by 15 percent, but we didn’t have because our manufacturers suffered spare parts shortages resulted from the impacts of a devastated earthquake in Japan and massive flooding in Thailand last year,”said Ngorn Saing, deputy general manager of RM Asia.
He attributed the high demands to good economic performance, increased foreign investors, more newly-opened companies and better living conditions of Cambodian people. “Nowadays, more Cambodian people have begun to invest their money in luxurious and modern things thanks to their improved living conditions,”he said.
Besides brand new cars, the country’s demands for the used cars are about 20,000 units per year.
The impoverished Southeast Asian nation has a population of 14. 5 million. The country’s per capita GDP was 911 U.S. dollars in 2011, up 10 percent from 830 U.S. dollars in 2010, according to the government figures.
The country’s economy is expected to grow by 7 percent to 15.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2012.
Cambodia’s banking sector has maintained strong and steady growth in terms of loans and deposits in 2012 thanks to better economic performance, a central bank’s senior official said Tuesday.
“Our banking system remains robust this year despite economic crisis in Europe and economic slowdown in the United States. These bad situations do not affect our banking sector,” Nguon Sokha, Director General of the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), which is the regulator of the country’s banking and financial institutions, told Xinhua.
“We see that both loans and deposits have sharply increased this year,” she said.
According to the latest statistics provided by the NBC, the kingdom’s 32 commercial banks have lent 5.49 billion U.S. dollars to private sectors by November 2012, up 30 percent year-on-year.
The loans went mostly to the sectors of trades, real estate, construction and mortgage, agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and services.
On the deposit side, the banks have received 6.02 billion U.S. dollars by November 2012, up 24 percent year-on-year, it said.
Those banks are serving about 1.6 million borrowers and 1.9 million depositors, it added.
Sokha said the increase in lending reflected growing business activities, while the rise in deposits truly mirrored people’s confidence in banking system and political stability.
“We believe that the sector will continue to grow at a similar rate in 2013,” she said.
So Phonnary, executive vice president of Acleda Bank, the country’s largest commercial bank, agreed that the banking sector was strong and healthy this year.
She said Acleda Bank has released the loans of 1.22 billion U.S. dollars as of November this year, up 23 percent year-on-year. At the meantime, it has received the deposits of 1.4 billion U.S. dollars, up 22 percent year-on-year.
“Both loans and deposits have grown very well,” she said. “More importantly, the non-performing loan rate, or bad loan, is very low–only 0.33 percent. This shows good business environment in the country.”
Jang Ki-Sung, Chief Executive Officer of South Korea’s Kookmin Bank Phnom Penh Branch, said Cambodia’s banks have developed rapidly in terms of assets, liabilities and equity and are becoming more competitive and innovative because of new international standard banks’ entrance and the management of the NBC.
“The banks have moved forward from a traditional strategy to an advanced strategy, and several banks have introduced internet and mobile banking, so more Cambodian customers have more chances to access advanced banking products and services with strong trust in the system,” he told Xinhua in an interview.
“This is a positive sign to Cambodian economy and we believe the industry will still continue to grow as public trust to the industry has increased and the country’s political situation is stable,” he said.
“I believe that more foreign investors will come to Cambodia to support the integrated ASEAN economic community in 2015, and trade activities and tourists will continue to rise,” Jang added.
Speaking in a condition of anonymity, a senior Chinese banker said that the banking market in Cambodia will see a great potential in the future, but, for now, the market is still relatively small and there are too many commercial banks.
Cambodia’s modern railway system on Friday commenced commercial rail operations on the 256- kilometer”Southern Line” between the capital city of Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville Port.
The launching was made after years of renovation with the financial support from the Asian Development Bank and development partners. “ADB welcomes this first commercial train service to the Port of Sihanoukville which marks a significant development towards the completion of the long-awaited Pan-Asian railroad — a contiguous “Iron Silk Road” stretching from Singapore to Scotland,” the bank said in a statement Friday.
Speaking at the service launching, Minister of Public Works and Transport Tram Iv Tek said the new railway will bring a range of benefits to Cambodia. “It will lower the cost of staple commodities that poor Cambodian families depend on,”he said.”Also, it will improve road safety by taking dangerous cargoes, such as the fuel trucks driving between the oil terminal in Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh, off the roads.”
In addition, he said, it will position Cambodia as a true sub- regional transportation hub, reducing the time and costs of transporting a range of products.
According to ADB, another 337 kilometer”Northern Line”, linking Phnom Penh to Poipet and Thailand, is expected to be opened in phases between 2014 and 2015.
The total project cost of the Greater Mekong Sub-region Rehabilitation of the Railway project in Cambodia, amounting to 141.6 million U.S. dollars, is financed by an ADB loan of 84 million U.S. dollars, a Cambodian government contribution of 20.3 million U.S. dollars, an Australian grant of 21.5 million U.S. dollars, an OPEC Fund for International Development loan of 13 million U.S. dollars and a Malaysian grant of 2.8 million U.S. dollars
Vietnamese enterprises so far have invested in 124 projects in Cambodia with total registered capital of some US$2.5 billion, four times higher than the figure in 2009.
As such, Vietnam is now among the top five investors in Cambodia, said the Association of Vietnamese Investors in Cambodia (AVIC) at a conference to review three years promoting Vietnam trade and investment in Cambodia held in Phnom Penh this Tuesday.
In 2010, Vietnam had 41 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects worth US$566 million in Cambodia. In 2011, the number of projects rose to 90 and investment capital reached US$2 billion.
Cambodia ranks second among 50 nations and territories as destinations of Vietnam’s outbound investment, said AVIC.
Vietnamese investors in Cambodia focus on agriculture, forestry, energy, mineral mining, finance-banking, aviation and telecommunications. Notable investors are BIDV, Viettel, PVN, Vietnam Airlines, HAGL, VinaCapital, Vinafood2, Vinacomin, Saigontourist and Saigon Co.op.
Over the past three years, Vietnamese enterprises have contributed to economic growth and budget revenue of Cambodia. Moreover, local firms have created jobs for more than 30,000 Cambodian laborers and lured tourists to this country, said a report of AVIC.
AVIC sets a goal that Vietnam investment in Cambodia will reach US$3-3.2 billion and the two-way trade turnover will amount to US$5 billion by 2015.
By then, several projects will have been put into operation, including Cho Ray-Phnom Penh Hospital, the sugar-alcohol-power plant 2 and the rubber planting projects of HAGL and CT Group.
AVIC suggested the two countries sign an agreement on double tax avoidance and a cooperation agreement on mining, energy and agriculture.
Also on Tuesday, Five Star Group inaugurated the Cambodia Five Star International Fertilizer Factory in Kean Svay District, Kandal Province. It is the biggest fertilizer plant in Cambodia with total investment capital of US$79 million.
The plant produces NPK fertilizer with an annual output of 300,000 tons in the first phase and 500,000 tons in the second phase. Its products will meet 50% of the demand for NPK fertilizer in Cambodia.
In the first 11 months, the two-way trade between Vietnam and Cambodia reached US$2.96 billion, which is estimated to rise to US$3.3 billion by the year’s end, up 17.8% year-on-year.
In particular, Vietnam exported US$2.52 billion worth of products to Cambodia, an increase of 17.7% over the same period last year, making Vietnam the second largest trade partner of Cambodia.
Vietnam’s major export items to Cambodia were fuels, iron, steel, textile and garment. Meanwhile, Cambodia mainly exported rubber and tobacco to Vietnam.
In the first ten months of 2012, Cambodia welcomed nearly 640,000 Vietnamese tourist arrivals, up 24% year-on-year, accounting for 23.3% of the total number of foreign tourist arrivals in Cambodia.
For the whole year, the number of Vietnamese tourist arrivals in Cambodia is forecast at over 750,000, or a growth of 25% against 2011, and thus Vietnam would remain the biggest visitor-generating market for Cambodia.