English | 中文版 |  Русский

Breaking News:

Source: www.asiaecon.org |

ISRAELI DELEGATES ARRIVE IN CAMBODIA


An Israeli delegation arrived in Cambodia on Monday to discuss plans for future Israeli investment in the country. The arrival of the delegation, so far the biggest sent by Israel to Cambodia, is part of an Israeli effort announced last year to expand economic and political ties with Cambodia.  


An Israeli delegation arrived in Cambodia on Monday to discuss plans for future Israeli investment in the country. The arrival of the delegation, so far the biggest sent by Israel to Cambodia, is part of an Israeli effort announced last year to expand economic and political ties with Cambodia.

Over 30 Israeli delegates from the government and the private sector met with up to 40 Cambodian business leaders in hopes of reaching agreements on investments in the telecommunications and agricultural sectors.

Israel hopes to offer new and important ways of boosting Cambodia’s agricultural sector by treating it as a business, not just as a source of food.

“One of our most important messages is that we see agriculture as a business – not just a way of feeding people,” said Yitzhak Kiriati, director of the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute, a government-private export promotion group. “We are not coming to Cambodia to save hungry people – we are here to make people make money from agriculture.”

The Cambodian agricultural sector is typically seen as inefficient and unproductive. Local agricultural experts hope that Israeli investments will bring much-needed advancements to the sector.

“There are serious problems in Cambodia with a lack of investment – agriculture needs more support and loans for small farmers, “said Yang Saing Koma, president of CEDAC, a local agriculture development association.

Israeli agriculture technology companies are offering what they say is the world’s most advanced farming methods. One of its most famous technologies is the “drip irrigation” that waters plants individually, avoiding evaporation and waste of water. Such technologies that were adapted to Israel’s arid desert climate are seen to fit well in Cambodia’s wet-dry climate.

Israel also hopes to invest in Cambodia’s telecommunications sector, which it sees as having a huge potential for expansion especially for small- and medium-sized Israeli companies.

“Cambodia’s telecoms market is expanding fast,” said Eyal Mayer, director of Business Development and Project Management at Celtro, a mobile phone technology firm.

While Israel and Cambodia have maintained diplomatic ties with each other, it is only recently that their political and economic relations were strengthened. According to the Cambodian Investment Board, Israel was Cambodia’s fourth largest foreign investor in 2008, in terms of projects approved, accounting for 2.75 percent of total investment, or $300 million. The Israeli embassy in Bangkok said it expects trade and investment into Cambodia to increase substantially after the meeting of the delegates. Moreover, the Israeli ambassador in Bangkok, who is also responsible for Cambodia, said that additional high-level visits to Cambodia are likely to happen in 2009.

Cambodia has seen an influx of interested investors from the Middle East as these countries attempt to expand their relations in Asia to open up new markets as well as to obtain new sources of food and raw materials. Cambodia has particularly attracted Middle Eastern countries because of its neutrality on the politics of the region.

“Middle Eastern countries are attracted to Cambodia in part because [Cambodia] doesn’t care about the Arab-Israeli conflict, or about politics,” said Middle East expert Yossi Mekelberg from Chatham House in London. “[Cambodia] wants investment. It gives Middle Eastern countries soft power in the region.”

Source: www.AsiaEcon.org
Please send comments and constructive suggestions to feedback@AsiaEcon.org

Source: www.asiaecon.org |


More Special Articles - Asia Business & Economy Articles