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  • Writer's pictureJeremiah Silvano

Indonesia investment talks held

Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) secretary-general Sok Chenda Sophea (centre) speaks at the Indonesia-Cambodia Investment Dialogue on Tuesday. SUPPLIED

The Indonesian embassy will work with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (IndoCham) to promote trade between the two Southeast Asian countries and attract investment to the Kingdom, ambassador Sudirman Haseng vowed on February 22.

The ambassador made the remark at the Indonesia-Cambodia Investment Dialogue held at the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) and organised in collaboration with the embassy and IndoCham.

With a total of 150 online and in-person participants, the event discussed details of Cambodia’s new Law on Investment – promulgated on October 15 – and encouraged local players and their Indonesian peers in the Kingdom and abroad to examine potential avenues of investment cooperation.

Sudirman hailed the “remarkably high rate” of Covid-19 vaccinations, administered free-of-charge, which he said had made the pandemic manageable and improved the investment environment, especially with the new law in place.

As of February 22, over 14.40 million people aged 3 and up had received at least a first Covid-19 dose, representing 90.01 per cent of the estimated 16 million population, according to the Ministry of Health.

The ambassador said: “The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia, which was officially established on September 23, 2021, and the Indonesian embassy in Cambodia will work with relevant Cambodian ministries and institutions to bolster Indonesian investment in Cambodia further.”

Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Panjaitan heralded the progress of bilateral investment cooperation between Indonesia and Cambodia over the last two decades.

He also praised the CDC for drafting the new investment law with what he said was a proactive approach to promoting, facilitating, guaranteeing, protecting and maintaining investment in all aspects.

Luhut also mentioned that in Indonesia, 76 existing investment-related laws were amended by the Act Number 11 of 2020 on Job Creation, widely known as the “Omnibus Law”, which among other things simplified business licensing procedures.

CDC secretary-general Sok Chenda Sophea said that Indonesian investors active in Cambodian have historically been significant contributors to the Kingdom’s economic growth.

The CDC chief also shared an optimistic outlook on prospects for investment from Indonesia, which he noted is Southeast Asia’s most populous nation and largest economy.

He said investment would be buoyed by free trade agreements (FTA) that ensure major market access gains for Cambodia, such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as well as FTAs with China and South Korea.

“The rate of people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in Cambodia is one of the highest in the region and in the world,” Chenda Sophea said, suggesting that these statistics prompted the government to allow the full-fledged resumption of socio-economic activities in mid-November.

The figures also drove the government to finally roll out a three-year comprehensive roadmap to this effect on December 22, based on three pillars – recovery, reform and resilience – also known as the “3Rs”, he said.

The roadmap is known as the “The Strategic Framework and Programmes for Economic Recovery in the Context of Living with Covid-19 in a New Normal 2021-2023”.

Chenda Sophea believes that as a result of February 22’s dialogue, the Indonesian business community will have a clearer and deeper understanding of the new investment law, and help persuade more investors from the archipelago to enter the Cambodian market.


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