China’s Yunnan businesses seek investment in Cambodia

The Association for Economic Cooperation and Trade Promotion between Yunnan and Southeast and South Asia (ECTPA) on Friday signed an investor facilitation cooperation agreement with Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia, aimed to seek business opportunities in the country.

The agreement was signed by Jammy Gao, president of Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia and Wang Guoliang, vice chairman of the ECTPA.

Under the agreement, when there is an investment delegation from Yunnan province to seek investment opportunity in Cambodia or vice-versa, each party has obligation to assist and arrange meetings with local businesspeople or government officials in order to facilitate them in their investment seeking purpose.

Niu Shaoyao, chairman of the association, said that the delegation consisted of investors from 13 investment companies in Yunnan, which specialize in construction, mining, post express logistics, steel factory, real estate development, technology, and agriculture.

“Our visit to Cambodia is to explore investment opportunities,” he said.

During the five-day visit, the delegation has met with Cambodia ‘s Second Vice President of the Senate Tep Ngorn and Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam On as well as some investors in Cambodia.

“We have learnt that Cambodia has huge potentials and its law is preferential for investors,” he said. “Chinese investors in Cambodia have told us their successful experiences in their investments.”

“I believed that during the visit, investors from Yunnan would be able to find good investment partners or favorable sectors in Cambodia for their future investment plans,” he added.

Jin Yuan, economic and commercial counselor of the Chinese embassy in Cambodia, said during the signing ceremony that even though Cambodia is a small and poor country, but it is an attractive place for foreign investors for its rich natural resources and political stability and its emerging economy.

“It is an opportunity for investors from Yunnan province to do business in Cambodia,” he said. “Moreover, the relation between Cambodia and China has reached the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation, which builds more confidence for Chinese investors in Cambodia.”

The delegation arrived in Cambodia on Thursday after visiting Laos and Thailand for investment opportunity seeking.

It’s sawasdee, ka, even in Cambodia

Thai courses in the Khmer capital help forge ties with our sometimes distant neighbour

Bangkok Post

Heang Sreychea, 19, a Cambodian student at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, is listening to the Thai traditional Loy Krathong song and singing along to the lyrics displayed on a karaoke TV screen.

The young woman is among 27 Cambodian students enrolled in a basic Thai language and culture class run by the university’s Institute of Foreign Language (IFL) in the Cambodian capital. “I want to go to Thailand. That’s why I study Thai,” said Ms Sreychea, a media and communications student. “I think Thai is similar to Cambodian. So it isn’t too difficult for me to remember Thai words.”

The university has taught Thai for five years as an extra-curricular course to promote cultural and educational ties between Thailand and Cambodia. Three Thais teach the students. Thai language courses are gaining popularity among Cambodians at the university (RUPP) even though relations between the countries go through ups and downs.

The vice-rector of RUPP and overseer of the IFL, Sous Man, said the university had asked the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to upgrade Thai as a major subject at undergraduate level. This would give Cambodian students more

chance to improve their Thai skills, find good jobs with Thai companies and win scholarships to pursue higher degrees in Thailand. If it allowed the IFL to add the Thai language to its foreign language majors for undergraduate students, more Thai teachers would be needed for the programme, she said.

Since Thai courses have been offered at the IFL, the number of Cambodian students has increased every year. No more than 35 students are allowed for each course to ensure quality standards can be met. The IFL has four Thai courses ranging from basic learning to advanced tuition for those who want to learn various techniques and styles in Thai.

Students pay about 1,000 baht for each one-year Thai course. Sa-ngop Boonkloy, a Thai language teacher from Buri Ram Rajabhat University, has been teaching at the Cambodian university for three years. He said that after finishing four Thai courses, his Cambodian students were highly qualified and could find decent jobs with Thai companies and the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh.

Some work as interpreters and translators while others are waiting to receive scholarships to study at Thai universities, Mr Sa-ngop said.

“I will try to teach many more Cambodian students to speak and understand Thai because I believe the language will help foster ties between our two countries,” he said. In the same way, he wanted to see more Thai universities teaching the Khmer language to Thai students.

Ly Bonthunnarak, 17, an architect student at RUPP, who has enrolled in the basic Thai language course, said he learns Thai because he wants to help his mother run a flower shop. The young man’s mother has a flower shop in Phnom Penh and travels to Bangkok’s Pak Khlong flower market several times a month to place orders. “If I can speak Thai more fluently, I will be able to help,” he said.

Thep Pharin, 22, a psychology student at RUPP, has studied Thai for four years because she plans to take scholarship exams to study graduate level psychology in Thailand. “I’m proud I can speak Thai fluently. I have to thank Acharn Sa-ngop for his support,” Ms Pharin said.