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Cambodia Behind Region in Investment

While Cambodia has adopted a competitive investment strategy, it lags behind Asia-Pacific countries in terms of investment facilities and other factors, the World Bank reported Wednesday.

Cambodia is one of the more open countries to foreign investment, but its roads, ports and other infrastructure are not developed, according to the “Investing Across Borders” annual report.

“It’s a showcase to attract more foreign direct investment,” said Ngoun Meng Tech, secretary general of Chamber of Commerce of Cambodia.

Cambodia’s economy has struggled since the 2009 recession, and foreign investment has fallen from $1.2 billion in the first six months of 2009 to $1.1 billion for the same period this year. Experts say the country must now find ways to compete in a different global economy.

In Cambodia, it takes 86 days and 10 procedures to open a business, compared to other East Asia-Pacific countries, where the average is 68 days and 11 procedures, the World Bank reported.

Cambodia has improved its investment environment, “but we have to fix other problems,” said Ros Khemara, a member of the Cambodian Economic Association.

The World Bank also noted that Cambodia does well in the time it takes to lease land, but lags behind the region in the availability of land information.