Gov’t audit shows Vietnam Rubber Group missing millions

November 12th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Contentious plantation giant Vietnam Rubber Group reportedly “lost” nearly $391 million of state funds over five years, including $22.75 million from a rubber plantation in Cambodia, an official investigation into the firm’s dealings has found, according to Vietnamese media.

Hanoi’s anti-corruption body, the General Inspectorate, last week concluded a years-long investigation into the state-run company, which reportedly owns more than 160,000 hectares of land concessions in Cambodia.

In what it called a “major violation”, the audit found that one of VRG’s subsidiaries, Phu Rieng Kratie Co, had lost nearly $23 million since it began cultivating its 6,400-hectare Snuol district plantation in 2007. …

Daniel Pye and May Titthara

New lotto company enters a shrinking industry

November 11th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

A Hong Kong company is hoping to attract a sizeable slice of Cambodia’s lottery market with the opening of outlets in Phnom Penh and around the country next month, according to the CEO of the firm’s local subsidiary.

EGame Solutions, the parent company of Cambodian Mark 6, established an office in Phnom Penh earlier this year under the brand CM6 and is currently constructing an office and gambling shop on Sihanouk Boulevard that will open by the end of the year, according to the company’s chief executive officer, Phillip Wong. …

George Styllis

Cambodia, Japan trade up

November 11th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia is quickly becoming a hub for Japanese exports, according to the latest figures from the Japan External Trade Agency, JETRO.

The state-run agency’s latest trade figures show Cambodia exported more than $584 million worth of locally made products to Japan over the first nine months of the year. The result represents a 35 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2013 – the largest year-on-year increase of all ASEAN nations. …

Cambodia’s 100 per cent foreign ownership laws and cheap labour have proven to be lucrative drawcards for Japanese manufacturing firms. Today, in addition to garment factories, auto-parts makers Minebea and Yazaki Corporation and electrical products maker Sumi have all set up manufacturing operations in Cambodia, which then ship back to Japan. …

Hor Kimsay

New companies registered in Cambodia jump 36 pct in 9 months

November 4th, 2014 , Global Post

Cambodia has issued operating licenses to 3,025 new companies in the first nine months of 2014, up 36 percent over the same period last year, the Ministry of Commerce said on Tuesday.

Foreign companies were 1,335, an increase of 20 percent, as local registrations saw a 46-percent rise to 1,690. …

Global Post News Staff

Clash at Koh Kong SEZ protest

November 4th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

A 60-year-old woman was injured and sent to hospital yesterday when police cracked down on anti-eviction protesters blocking a busy bridge in Koh Kong province, villagers said.

More than 100 villagers locked in a dispute with the company that manages the Koh Kong Special Economic Zone, owned by ruling party senator and tycoon Ly Yong Phat, had blocked the Koh Kong Bridge in support of a jailed community representative after provincial authorities refused to meet with them. …

Sen David and Pech Sotheary

Cambodia tax system worse off

October 31st, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia’s taxation system fell five places on the World Bank’s 2015 Doing Business index (DBI).

The index, which tallied up 230 business reforms from 189 economies, showed the ease of paying taxes in Cambodia has declined from position 85 in 2014 to 90 this year. Cambodia’s overall ease of doing business ranking declined from position 134 to 135. …

Eddie Morton

Starting a business in Cambodia is getting harder, report says

October 30th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

Almost every aspect of starting or operating a business in Cambodia is becoming more difficult, according to a World Bank report released Wednesday. …

“Starting a business in Cambodia requires 11 procedures, takes 101.0 days, costs 139.5 percent of income per capita and requires paid-in minimum capital of 26.1 percent of income per capita,” the report says. …

Joshua Wilwohl

CamKo struggles to move beyond crash

October 30th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

From the start, the project seemed impossibly ambitious: A $2-billion South Korean satellite city—complete with condominiums, office space, luxury villas, a shopping mall, health clinics, banks and an airport—on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. …

Claiming the land was not properly appraised, and that the decision made in South Korean courts was unfair, World City appealed for a retrial, which they lost last month, according to Mr. Monin. The case will go to the Supreme Court, though no date has been set for a hearing, he said. …

George Styllis and Kang Sothear

Poor electricity and labor force hurting economy, report says

October 28th, 2014 , VOA Khmer

The World Bank and Asian Development Bank issued a report on Tuesday, urging Cambodia to improve its electricity supply and workforce in order to be competitive. …

Intermittent electricity, informal payments and a low-skill labor force are all major constraints to doing business in Cambodia, the report says. …

Heng Reaksmey

Massive satellite city’s major boulevard nearing completion

October 25th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

A key component of the enormous ING City satellite city south of Phnom Penh – Samdech Techo Hun Sen Boulevard – is nearing completion. …

It will also provide access to ING City – previously known as AZ City – which is being constructed on land reclaimed from the Boeung Tompun wetlands. The city will also be crossed by two other major arterial roads.

Meas Viriya, the vice director of Technical Department of ING Holdings, told the Post that the bitumen surface of the $51 million road would be laid in December and it would be in use before the Khmer New Year. …

Siv Meng

An Olympian endeavour

October 18th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

A luxury twin-condo with 35 floors and 256 units is set to appear just to the southeast of the Olympic Stadium by the end of 2017. Sky Villa is a large project developed by the Crystal Orange Construction, with a hefty $100 million of capital investment behind it.

Lin Hsien Chih, the general manager of Crystal Orange Construction, told the Post that on entering the Cambodian market he was excited by the country’s economic growth, especially in the property sector. He decided to put his capital investment into this project, which aims to bring five-star quality residential accommodation to Cambodia. …

Hin Pisei

Steady rise for business registration in Kingdom

October 16th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Despite ongoing protests over the minimum wage in the garment industry and the political deadlock that lasted well in to July, Cambodia registered over 3,000 new businesses from January to September this year.

The latest data from the Ministry of Commerce reveal there were 3,025 newly registered businesses representing a 36 per cent increase from the 2,220 registered in the same period last year. …

May Kunmakara