Australia’s special envoy for Southeast Asia, Nicholas Moore, said that his nation will deepen economic ties with Cambodia and other regional countries in ASEAN as part of engagement with the bloc.
Speaking at the launch of the Handbook of Investing in Cambodia at Rosewood Hotel in Phnom Penh on Monday, Moore said that deepening economic engagement with the region is a crucial priority for the Australian government.
"We are pleased to support the Handbook of Investing in Cambodia, which serves as a valuable resource for investors around the world,” Moore said. “It offers insights into key investment rules and procedures, drawing on the experience of Australian investors in Cambodia.”
Moore said that it forms part of the development of Australia's Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040, aimed at boosting two-way trade and investment between Australia and ASEAN countries.
"The Southeast Asian region is diverse and populated, with significant growth potential driven by urbanization, a growing middle class, and demographic shifts. This presents shared economic opportunities for Australia and Cambodia," Moore stated.
He also talked about the importance of trade diversification and supply chains in promoting economic resilience and improving food and energy security.
Regarding agriculture, Moore said it is a priority sector for Cambodia and expressed Australia's support through CAP RED, adding that it needs to move up the value chain and attract investment in agri-processing capabilities.
Moore is in Phnom Penh this week as part of his regional consultations to help guide the development of the Australian Government’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040.
He said that it is Australia's commitment to long-term growth and the need for investment across government and business.
"To fulfill in the years to 2040, Australia's engagement will require collaboration, leveraging our capabilities, and building strong partnerships with Southeast Asian nations," Moore stated.
Sok Chanda Sophea, Secretary General of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), said at the launch ceremony that the handbook provides valuable information to potential investors and addresses the existing shortage of information about Cambodia's business environment.
“The launch of the Handbook on Investing in Cambodia marks a milestone in promoting investment opportunities and providing essential resources for investors interested in Cambodia's market,” he said.
Sophea added that there have been discussions with Australia about agricultural projects aimed at promoting healthy agriculture through the Agri-food Investment Desk (AFID).
Justin Whyatt, Australian Ambassador to Cambodia, said at the ceremony that the handbook emerged from a roundtable with investors held last year. It is a practical example of collaboration between Australia and Cambodia to foster trade and investment relations, he added.
The handbook aligns with the visit of Moore, who was appointed by the Australian government to explore avenues for strengthening bilateral trade and investment with Cambodia and Southeast Asia, Whyatt stated.
"The investment handbook we are launching reflects the productive partnership between Australia and Cambodia. It demonstrates our commitment to enhancing trade and investment cooperation, paving the way for mutual growth and prosperity," Whyatt said.