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Posts Tagged ‘Cambodia’

Why we should follow Cambodian politics closely

In Political governance on 26/07/2014 at 6:22 am

Especially those TRE posters (loonies?) who shout that the Oppo will win the next GE*. They ever tot that if the PAP is as bad as what they claim is the case, the PAP won’t steal the election Cambodian style?

Last yr, in a closely fought election, the governing party (the PM says LKY is a hero of his) won a majority of seats in the parliament. The Oppo alleged fraud and refused to take their seats and called for fresh elections. The govt passed laws to its satisfaction in the absence of an oppo in parly.

Now a deal has been struck. The electoral commission is at the heart of the deal. The CPP-dominated National Election Committee—widely derided as a puppet of the government—is to be overhauled, which requires that the constitution be changed. The two major parties will now have four members on the committee, with a ninth independent member to be agreed on by both sides.

—–

The timing of the deal, so near the anniversary of the contested election, might not be a coincidence. Both sides were feeling the public pressure to reach an agreement. For the opposition, the question was how long they could keep operating as a political force with only rallies and public protests to bind them together, while laws were passed without them in the assembly. The government was faced with the prospect of having to keep defending that one-party parliament to the international community.

The violence the government employed to disperse protesters drew a steady stream of criticism throughout the year. Security forces beat and arrested demonstrators, and at least seven were shot dead.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2014/07/cambodian-politics

Just as S’poreans should be watching developments in Thailand,

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/freak-election-training-manual-for-safs-paper-generals-and-us-40-sporeans-too/

– http://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/more-on-when-there-is-a-freak-election-result/

we should follow developments in Cambodia. There are lessons to be learner especially about the importance of the election organisers (here under PMO).

Interesting the Thais have introduced a law banning gatherings of five people or more. They learnt that from us?

*None of the Oppo parties believe this is possible. Ask SDP, NSP, People in light blue, SDA, JBJ Remebrance Party, Chiams, TJS Team and Pwee Gang.

Why visit Phnom Penh?

In Uncategorized on 30/03/2014 at 4:30 am

There is the sex scene.  As an oldie, I’m sad to see so many distinguished seniors (ex-DPP, doctors etc) mess up their lives ’cause of their sexual urges, when they should be basking in contentment and respect, having lived the gd life.  So my advice is …

And hotel accommodation is reasonable.

The cheapest place to stay of the 116 listed in the report is Phnom Penh at just £33 per night. Of course average room rates will be affected by all manor of things—not least the proportion of posh hotels to basic ones (the survey looks at all hotels from one- to five-star) and exchange rate fluctuation. But prices in the Cambodian capital fell by 16% even as tourist numbers rose handsomely, up from 3.6m to 4.2m.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2014/03/airlines-and-hotels

S’pore’s & other Asean’s currencies undervalued

In Currencies on 25/01/2014 at 4:34 am

All the Asean’s currencies are undervalued in purchase-parity terms vis-a-vis the US$. http://www.economist.com/content/big-mac-index

But the S$ is the least undervalued .i.e. its the strongest Asean currency. So if S’pore raises interest rates as TRE posters are calling, money will flood in from the other currencies.  And property prices will fly and the economy tank as exports will be uncompetitive. http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/tre-readers-are-illiterate-in-economics-and-finance/

Why Thai politics is broken: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/01/economist-explains-13

Indonesia’s most popular politician in the yr of presidential elections: http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2014/01/indonesias-most-popular-politician

The problems facing the PM of Cambodia (BTW, he admires one Harry Lee): http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2014/01/future-democracy-cambodia

M’sians, Pinoys & Indons love F1 S’pore

In Indonesia, Malaysia on 21/09/2013 at 5:02 am

F1 in Singapore … as in the past five races, the proportion of foreign fans hovers around the 40 per cent mark. It was highest at the inaugural race in 2008, with visitors buying 41.7 per cent of the 100,000 tickets, but dipped to 39.2 per cent in 2010 on 81,350 tickets.

 Last year, it was 40.9 per cent of the total 84,317 tickets sold … according to race promoter Singapore GP, the top 10 countries are (in no particular order): Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Germany, Malaysia, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, the United States and Taiwan. (BT report on Wednesday)

Other Asean round-up news

Gambling revenues round Asia compared

Way of presentation is v.v gd.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2013/09/daily-chart-5

Thank us ethnic slitt-eyes, who gamble on anything

In January 2011 the Chinese city of Tianjin opened an “art exchange” in which artworks’ ownership is divided into tradable shares. Demand was enormous: Chinese households have limited investment options for their savings. Within a year more than 50,000 investors had bought shares in less than two dozen artworks. At least 34 similar art exchanges cropped up elsewhere in China, says Zhao Li, a professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, a state school in Beijing.

But frenzied trading on the new exchanges soon turned the market frothy. Tianjin’s exchange halted trading on two paintings after their values multiplied seventeenfold in less than three months; other exchanges have also limited trading. To protect investors, the central government has drawn up regulations that have stifled activity. “We have to be careful not to cause trouble,” says Chen Zongsheng, a city official behind the Tiajin exchange.

Meanwhile an ang moh exchange folds.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2013/06/investing-art

Cambodian elections harbinger of S’porean GE?

In Indonesia on 03/08/2013 at 5:07 am

Cambodia’s opposition party says it narrowly won Sunday’s general election, challenging the ruling party’s earlier declaration of victory.

Hours after the poll, PM Hun Sen’s ruling party said it won 68 seats in parliament to the opposition’s 55. Previously, the ruling party dominated had two-thirds majority.

What should interest S’poreans is

Hun Sen, one of the world’s longest-serving prime ministers, has been in power in Cambodia for 28 years.

Many here credit him with having steered the nation out of a civil war and raising living standards for the population of 14 million.

Under him, Cambodia has seen strong economic growth, thanks to a combination of foreign aid, development, tourism and garment exports.

All very PAP-like achievements.

–the Opposition there finally united by combining forces;

“I think Mr Rainsy and his party have a very simple message,” said Mr Cox. “It is striking a chord with people. Do you like the way things are or do you want change?

– ‘Many Cambodians are screaming for change.” … that certainly appears to be the sentiment among many of the urban youth in Phnom Penh.

I sat down with a group of young men and women in a cafe in the city, and many expressed a desire for greater political participation in their country.

“I acknowledge that the current government has made huge improvements and strides in this country since the days of the war,” says 32-year-old Chulsa Heng.

“But we want more. I still think Cambodia has a long way to go, and it’s still not enough.”

First-time voter Ngoun Somaly said that regardless of who she ended up choosing on polling day, there were many issues that the current government was not paying enough attention to.

“Human rights violations, land grabbing from rural peasants and a lack of job opportunities for Cambodia’s graduates – we need to see more firm action on that,” she said.

“Whoever wins the election must work hard to fix these problems. I really want to see these human rights issues solved.”

– And “There is also no longer that cloak of fear, the way it used to be in the past. People aren’t afraid to be out on the streets and true to themselves.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23461127

BTW, the media there is tightly controlled. And the govt regularly sues opponents, winning damages.

So no wonder PM is working hard on his National Day Rally speech. All to play for in next GE.

Lest I be accused of being anti-PAP http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/why-young-sporeans-should-be-sent-to-yangon/

Asean round-up con’td

China imports gas from Burma

The gas pipeline that connects China, Myanmar and the Indian Ocean has officially begun operating, and China has begun importing gas from Burma.

Related post http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/implications-for-spores-port-as-burma-opens-up/

Indons learning Japanese

Indonesia has more high school pupils studying Japanese than any other country (872,000) other than China

Japan keeps Asean’s economies motoring along

In Indonesia, Japan, Private Equity, Vietnam on 27/07/2013 at 5:26 pm

Asean round-up

Gd summary from FT on Japan’s reemergence in region

China’s slowdown and the prospect of less easy US money have sent a chill through southeast Asia. Benchmark indices in Jakarta, Bangkok and Manila have lost almost half of the one-fifth gains they had made this year to mid-May. The real economy is weakening, too. Last week the Bank of Thailand cut its growth forecast below 5 per cent and recent comments from Bank Indonesia suggest it accepts growth will slip below 6 per cent. Hardly a disaster then, but nor is it what these countries or their followers are used to. Enter Japan and, crucially, its direct investment. In terms of trading with the region, Japan’s significance has slipped over the past decade as its economy stagnated, but at a shade over $200bn it commands the same share as China. Its FDI of $60bn into the region over that period, however, is 10-times greater than its giant neighbour, according to HSBC. Japan is either the largest or second-largest investor in each country.

 During the past two months, Japanese banks and insurers have spent almost $6bn buying stakes in their southeast Asian counterparts. More deals are expected as they try to escape a weak and ageing home market.

Background

Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co is expected to acquire a 15% stake in Thai Life Insurance Co. in what would be one of the biggest investments ever in Asia by a Japanese life insurer With the planned investment worth about ¥70 bn (US%700bn), Meiji Yasuda wants to make the major Thai insurer into an equity-method affiliate and dispatch executives, the sources said.

Like other Japanese insurers, Meiji Yasuda is looking to expand overseas earnings, especially in Asia, amid sluggish business at home due to the aging of society.

Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. has made a ¥28 bn investment in Vietnam’s top insurance group, while Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. in June announced a ¥34.3 bn investment in Indonesia. Sumitimo which lost out to Yasuda is now looking to Indonesia where Bank Negara is looking to sell up to 40% of its life business for up to $800m, according to the FT.

Japanese banks have been active too. http://atans1.wordpress.com/?s=Mitsubishi

Cambodia’s growing

Low labour costs and Cambodia’s proximity to key markets such as China and other emerging economies in South East Asia are attractive to foreign investors.

And with wages in countries such as Thailand and China on the rise, Cambodia is likely to become even more attractive.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23429693

Vietnam R private equity

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2013/07/18/vietnam-is-back-in-the-game-for-buyout-firms/

Asean round-up

In China, Indonesia, Vietnam on 12/01/2013 at 5:08 pm

Gd news for SE Asia. China has reported better-than-expected trade data, adding to optimism that growth in the world’s second-largest economy may be rebounding.Exports, a key driver of expansion, rose 14.1% in December from a year earlier. Most analysts had forecast a figure closer to 4%.Imports also rose, climbing 6% and indicating stronger domestic demand.

The US has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Indonesia’s restrictions on imports of horticultural and animal products. BBC report. Other agricultural exporters like Australia and Thailand have been unhappy about Indonesia’s restrictions too.

Thailand is considering measures to help companies cope with the country’s rise in the minimum wage (35% up from level of last year), but has rejected business warnings of job losses, factory closures and a shift by some manufacturers to neighbouring countries

Thailand’s central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 2.75% on Wednesday, as expected, saying the global economy continued to recover while growth this year could be higher than thought and inflation was stable.

The International Monetary Fund has warned that a credit boom in Cambodia poses a threat to economic growth. Banks have been cutting interest rates to win customers and private sector credit has increased by almost a third in the past 12 months, the fund said.

A $US200m deal with Masan Group by KKR is the largest by a private equity firm so far in Vietnam. It comes in addition to an earlier $159 million investment by KKR. Masan is Vietnam’s leading fish, soya and chilli sauce producer. As well as sauces Masan makes instant foods such as noodles, cereals and coffees. The firm estimates that 90% of local households use its products.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20954875

Japan was in talks with the Philippines on Thursday to enhance maritime co-operation amid their separate territorial rows with China.

“We talked about the challenges that we appear to be facing in view of the assertions being made by China,” Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario told reporters after meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, in Manila.

Part of the co-operation may include 10 new patrol vessels from Japan to boost the Philippine coast guard, as well as communication equipment, Mr Del Rosario said.

Asean round-up

In Indonesia, Malaysia on 08/12/2012 at 9:12 am

Indonesia’s  increased piousness has led to a demand for the services of Islamic or Sharia banks: growth is at 40% a year.

In the report*, called Emerging Trends in Real Estate Asia Pacific 2013, Singapore fell to third place in the rankings, losing the top place it held for the last two years to Jakarta. “The main issue in Singapore is a glut of new supply that’s arrived just as financial sector firms have been shedding headcount,” said Mr Colin Galloway, ULI’s Research Consultant and the author of the report.

Jakarta is seen by the 400-over industry experts surveyed for the report as the best bet, especially in the retail and office segments. Its jump to the top from its previous mid-table position has been driven by strong investor interest tied to the country’s economic growth. “It’s really boom times in Indonesia now,” said one of the surveyed developers. “The demographics look good, it’s a country as big as America in terms of headcount and corruption seems to have been at least partly reined in.”

Singapore may face further competition in attracting real estate investment as it may lose out to countries offering better yields across the region, such as emerging and frontier markets like Cambodia and Myanmar, the report said.

Thai coup coming? An analyst speculates.

S’pore minister endorses Iskandar.

So does Peter Lim. And why he likes it.

*According to a report co-published by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

Asean round-up

In Malaysia, Vietnam on 28/10/2012 at 6:32 am

Vietnam’s prime minister admits ‘faults’ on economy

And its China-plus-one Asean country for MNC manufacturers: In contrast to 2005, the previous time anti-Japanese riots flared, China is not the only fast-growing, well-populated, low-cost market around. Back then, Japanese firms hedged their China risk with a “China-plus-one” strategy, implying that they would find an extra Asian supply hub, such as Thailand. Now, that has grown into a wider “China-plus” strategy, because their options these days have widened to include Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines and India. (From the Economist’s last but one issue).

Will Laos join the other Asean countries now that it’s in WTO? Unlikely, but its been growing fast (and under the radar) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20078312. Stag Yaw should pop across from Hanoi to check out the gals biz prospects?

M’sia’s Westport is planning a US$500bn IPO for the first quarter of 2013 reports Reuters.  Thirteen companies have raised US$6.4bn so far this year on KLSE making it the 4th biggest IPO mkt after US, China and Japan. And CEO and COO are locals, not FTs like those of SGX.

ThaiBev: Time for a Pause that Refreshs? Time for a Tiger?

In Vietnam on 11/09/2012 at 5:46 am

Why Thaibev and friends are trying to line up S$9bn from banks for a general offer for F&N, and so derail the APB sale.

Problem is that if they win and block the sale, APB could still go to Heinken on worse terms. Heineken has the right of first refusal over the APB shares held by F&N/ Heineken jointly and there is a formula to resolve valuation questions: not based on stk market prices. Meanwhile, Heineken still has mgt control. So far, the Thais have played the game shrewdly, but things could go wrong. And they are highly leveraged.

Asia overtook Europe and the Americas in 2007. In 2011 it drank 67bn litres of beer, to the Americas’ 57bn and 51bn in Europe, according to Euromonitor.

Top consumers of beer by region

What’s more, as developed markets such as Europe, the US and Australia stagnate, Euromonitor forecasts that beer consumption (by volume) will grow by 4.8% in Asia Pacific every year between 2011 and 2016.

AND

 the countries with the biggest growth prospects in the region are Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, where Euromonitor forecasts that volumes drunk will grow at up to 9% per year between 2011 and 2016.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19488060

Korean and Jap exchanges are eating SGX’s lunch in ASEAN

In Uncategorized on 28/06/2012 at 6:08 am

Korea Exchange, which runs the world’s 13th-largest stock market, is helping ASEAN countries set up exchanges in return for stakes in the bourses. It helped Laos (last year) and Cambodia (recently) open their stock market trading platforms.

The Cambodian government has a 55%ish stake in the Cambodia Securities Exchange, while the Korea Exchange which provided information-technology systems, owns the rest. It holds 49% in Lao Securities Exchange, while the Laotian government owns 51%.

It is hoping to do the same for Myanmar even though the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Daiwa Securities had negotiated a “memorandum of understanding” to establish a stock exchange and develop the country’s capital markets.

Korea Exchange said that it would do its best to win the Myanmar government’s confidence until Myanmar makes a final decision and enters into a binding agreement for the establishment of its exchange.

True, these are “peanut” deals, but they are the kind of deals one would expect SGX to do given that these nations are ASEAN members. And anyway, while SGX may think it is a global player, it hasn’t done anything globally. It made a dumb bid for ASX (dumb because no-one except SGX and ASX mgts tot the Oz authorities would allow the bid*); and had to close its dark pool joint venture Chi-East in May as business volumes were weak and unlikely to improve.

——

*The bid would have benefitted ASX’s shareholders, in the main brokers using ASX’s trading platform. Brokers are damned gd at getting non-brokers particularly foreigners to buy into them or their investments. British brokers made their fortunes in the 1980s (including one David Cameron’s father) by selling out to, in the main, US banks.

Happened in India recently.   Private equity firms (think Americans again), which had invested in Indian stock brokers between 2005 and 2008, are in the main, struggling to exit these investments as current valuations of broking firms are less than half of what they were during the stake purchases due to a drop in profits on account of declining trading volumes and shift in the business model to a capital-driven one. http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-06-15/news/32254600_1_pe-firms-broking-equity-firms

Interesting biz in Cambodia & Vietnam

In Internet, Vietnam on 16/06/2012 at 6:13 am

American gal sets up internet biz in Cambodia: she sell hair (to be more accurate “hair extensions”) globally http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/05/28/in-cambodia-a-start-up-uses-the-internet-to-sell-hair/

Software dev is big biz in Vietnam

Ten years ago, you could count the number of IT companies using your fingers,” he says.

Now there are more than 750 software companies employing some 35,000 people. Among them, 150 are outsourcing firms.

Industry sources suggest that Vietnam is currently among the top five outsourcing destinations in Asia.

Vietnamese companies are manufacturing software and games for foreign companies, and are starting to export mobile phone apps overseas.

A young population and cheap labour costs are two major advantages that many start-ups have been tapping. The government in Vietnam has also been very encouraging, seeing information technology as beneficial for the country’s economy.

Charles Speyer, co-founder of Glass Egg Digital Media, a console game art outsourcing company, says the environment has been “very friendly for software companies”.

“We received our licence after less than a week,” he says.

“At Glass Egg we have always had to train our 3D artists, but there are good coders coming straight out of school in Vietnam.”

However Mr Speyer warns that although there is a lot of potential, the innovation industry in Vietnam will take some time to develop because of the inadequate education system.

“The education system is not geared towards creating innovators and that does not seem to be changing any time soon under the current government guidelines.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18119526

Cambodia: 10 IPOs a yr?

In Emerging markets on 21/04/2012 at 9:09 am

State-owned Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) started trading on April 18, while Telecom Cambodia and Sihanoukville Autonomous Port are preparing to go public.

“Cambodia is going to be a very attractive market as investors benefit from the nation’s economic development. Many inquiries are being placed for possible listings … dozens of companies will list their shares within five years. Listings of five-to-10 companies are possible a year.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-12/cambodia-may-lure-up-to-10-ipos-a-year-korea-bourse-says.html

BBC report http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17738351

Burma: Stock exchange coming/ Cambodia: Starting soon

In Emerging markets on 12/04/2012 at 7:23 pm

Burma is to get a new stock exchange, after the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Daiwa Securities received preliminary approval to help set one up.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17673773

Meanwhile, Cambodian brokers and wannabe investors, and foreign investors are preparing for the country’s first ever IPO.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-18/cambodia-embracing-capitalism-with-first-ipo-since-khmer-rouge.html

Templeton on Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand

In Emerging markets, Indonesia, Vietnam on 05/04/2012 at 7:14 am
Investors should be cautious when pursuing the opportunities for growth present in Myanmar and Cambodia, Southeast Asia’s frontier markets, Templeton Asset Management Ltd says, according to a Bloomberg report.

While Myanmar’s natural resources of oil, gas and minerals are positive factors, there are “areas of concern”, Templeton portfolio manager Dennis Lim wrote in a note last week on chairman Mark Mobius’s blog.

Although Cambodia is “ideally located” to benefit from trade with Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, investors need to study corporate governance standards, he said.

“Weaknesses we’re especially mindful of in Myanmar are lack of a proper legal structure, the lack of a well developed banking system, and the lack of solid foreign exchange operations. In Cambodia, I would caution potential investors to monitor corporate governance standards to ensure investors are treated fairly.”

In Cambodia, state- owned Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority will have its IPO next month, making it the first to be traded on the stock exchange that opened last July without a single listed company.

The Cambodian government has said it wants to spur economic development by selling off state- owned companies and encouraging private enterprises to expand with new funding.

Mr Mobius, who oversees more than US$50 billion in emerging-market assets as executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, has said he’s watching the Cambodian railroad industry “with particular interest’”

Indonesia, whose natural resources include timber and coal, can benefit from increasing global demand for commodities as emerging markets invest in infrastructure, Mr Lim said. Thailand, which suffered its worst floods in almost 70 years in 2011, will have a sound economic recovery and has “positive’” long-term fundamentals, he said.

“For value investors like us, current valuations in Thailand generally remain attractive, though the potential growth obstacles do bear ongoing scrutiny”. He cited agriculture, tourism and offshore gas as drivers of growth.

Interesting, no mention of Vietnam which is now in the dog house because of high inflation and other problems.

Singapore’s stock exchange is a conduit through which Templeton can access new markets because of listings by some companies from the frontier economies, he notes.

Cambodia: The Final Frontier

In Emerging markets on 22/03/2012 at 7:26 am

Cambodia will start trading on its stock exchange in April. It opened in July 2011 but there were no stocks to trade.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-18/cambodia-embracing-capitalism-with-first-ipo-since-khmer-rouge.html

Cambodia: There be value?

In Emerging markets, Temasek on 17/07/2010 at 7:20 am

Representatives of large US corporations, including General Electric, Johnson and Johnson and JPMorgan visited Cambodia to discuss the potential for future investment.

Few mths back, I heard Temasek is sniffing around too.

Note there is no stock market here yet.  One was supposed to start last year.

Frontier Markets: Do they offer value?

In China, Emerging markets on 18/05/2010 at 5:52 am

Where is the dividing line between frontier and emerging markets? “It’s not very clear,” said emerging markets specialist Mark Mobius of Templeton. “Generally speaking, frontier markets are those that are relatively small and illiquid and have been pretty much ignored up to now.

‘Cambodia or Sri Lanka would be examples, along with Vietnam and Pakistan. But then you have other markets, like those in the Middle East which have not traditionally been part of emerging markets, such as Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.”

By his definition, we have three around us: Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

Interested in Cambodia and Laos?

Frontier Investment and Development Partners says that investment in China’s neighbours has become an option for those interested in China itself, reports the FT. FIDP claims to be a private equity investor.

FIDP, which has offices in Singapore, Cambodia and Mongolia, has launched its Cambodia and Laos fund, and is due to start investing its first $50m (£32m, €37m) by July. The fund is “an extended China play”, designed to profit from exports to China as well as the shift of investor interest from west to east. It will focus largely on agriculture and infrastructure, seeking to benefit from China’s continued demand for raw materials and its desire for food security and the need to improve transportation links for trade

Both Cambodia and Laos boast swathes of undeveloped land and untapped reserves of resources. The discovery of oil reserves off the south-west coast of Cambodia has yet to be quantified and the potential for Laos to become a major source of hydropower using the Mekong river has also not yet been utilised. But … these countries are primed for rapid growth.

And as roads are built and an unbroken rail network is created across the region, the proximity to China of countries such as Cambodia and Laos will provide them with an additional advantage over commodity exporters further afield.

China has provided large sums towards developing infrastructure and transportation links in both countries. In March, a Chinese delegation to Cambodia pledged to expand commercial ties between the two countries, including an agreement between telecommunication companies Chinese Huawei Technologies and Cambodia’s CamGSM.


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