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Taiwanese Companies Seek Cambodian Partners

Twenty-five Taiwanese companies meet with government officials Thursday, to discuss increased investment in the face of Cambodia’s one-China policy.

Taiwan has no diplomatic relations with Cambodia, but officials say they welcome its investors.

Dim-Han Chen, managing director of Shie-Dim Machinery Co., Ltd., a machine manufacturer, told VOA Khmer at Thursday’s Taiwanese Trade Forum in Phnom Penh that his company was eyeing the Cambodian market because of its potential in the textile sector.

“There’s been so many garment factories,” he said. “That’s why I’m here, wanting to find a chance and wanting to find a market here because there is no fabric factory here.”

“We want to see the investment environment and see how to run a business here,” said Horace Huang, vice general manager for Taiwan Modern Dyestuffs and Pigments Co., Ltd.

The arrival of the Taiwanese business representatives follows increasingly better relations between mainland China and Taiwan. Taiwan has in the past sought independence from China, which considers it a rogue province.

Cambodia has declared its support for a “one-China” policy and has not allowed a Taiwanese embassy or representative since the closure of its office in July 1997, shortly after the coup.

However, Prime Minister Hun Sen has been quick to accept Taiwanese investment.

Keo Nimet, international relations manager at the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, who is working to attract more Taiwanese investors, said at the forum that statistics on Taiwanese investment in the kingdom is not reliably available, due to the lack of official Taiwanese representation.

He added, however, that if Cambodia can get more Taiwanese investors, the value could reach as much as neighboring countries like Vietnam, which sees $20 billion in Taiwanese investment.