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Chinese Warships Dock at Cambodian Naval Base
Chinese naval vessels have docked for the first time at a new pier at Ream Naval Base, a move seen by the U.S. and international analysts as establishing a strategic outpost for Beijing's navy. This development coincided with a visit to Cambodia by China's top defense official and was revealed through a Facebook post by Cambodia's Defense Minister. The docking of the Type 56 Chinese corvettes comes as Cambodia demonstrates growing comfort with military cooperation with China and raises concerns over the regional balance of power and Cambodia's autonomy.
Read more: Yahoo News
Resilient and Inclusive Growth: 2030 and Beyond
Continuing on a recovery from its tragic history since the 1991 Paris Peace Agreements, Cambodia aspires to become an upper middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050. Achieving this will require overcoming constraints for more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient growth, generating good jobs in both the formal and informal sectors. A webinar by the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, drawing on the ADB’s Country Diagnostic Study and Cambodia Vision 2030, will discuss strategies for Cambodia's structural transformation to achieve these objectives.
Speakers include Jayant Menon, H.E. Dr. Sok Siphana, and Dr. Hal Hill. The webinar is scheduled for 10:00-11:30 GMT+8 (Singapore Time) on December 14, 2023.
Read more (and register): ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute
RCEP Agreement Spurs Hot Growth
Exports to Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) member countries surged by more than 25% in the first ten months of 2023, reaching nearly $6.5 billion. The RCEP, the world's largest free trade agreement, which includes key Indo-Pacific nations has proven to be a boon amid a slowdown in traditional markets like Europe and the US. RCEP has become a vital driver for export growth, with tariff reductions and trade opportunities, particularly agricultural exports to major markets like China. Cambodia's international trade volume stood at $38.66 billion during the period, a slight decrease from last year.
The Franchise Future
Cambodia is set to introduce a Franchise Law to further expand the growing franchise sector, as revealed by Suon Vichea, Advisor to the Ministry of Commerce. The new law is expected to encourage more entrepreneurs to take up the already popular franchise business model. The law's introduction coincides with the Malaysia Franchise Trade Mission in Phnom Penh, and as such, particular emphasis was placed on opportunities in providing Halal products to Cambodia’s substantial Muslim minority.
Read more: Khmer Times
CPP Sets Direction for 2024
The Cambodian People's Party (CPP), ruling since 1979, held an extraordinary congress to outline its action plan for 2024. Chaired by President Hun Sen, the event marked the first gathering since their landslide election victory. The congress focused on reviewing achievements and setting future objectives, with an expansion of the central committee, including new standing committee and vice-president members. Attended by about 3,600 delegates, the congress is a demonstration of the CPP's ongoing dominance in Cambodian politics, holding 120 of 125 National Assembly seats.
Major Investments in Solar and Hydropower
Clean energy is seeing solid growth with two new projects. A $65.5 million investment has been approved for a 60-megawatt solar power plant in Svay Rieng province, and a new hydropower plant project in Koh Kong province (with a planned capacity of 150 megawatts) has been given the green light on a build-operate-transfer basis.
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