Kampong Speu governor Vei Samnang said his provincial administration’s delegation to Hong Kong came away with better results than expected, with eight Hong Kong firms planning to visit sites in the province with an eye towards opening factories later this year.

“During the two-day visit, I and my delegation had meetings where we presented the potential of our province to Hong Kong investors. At least 10 companies were interested and wished to seek investment opportunities in the province soon. We expect that at least 10,000 workers will be needed,” he said.

Samnang said most of the companies that plan to invest Cambodia, and Kampong Speu province in particular, are manufacturers producing goods like shoes, clothing and bags, though some others are also interested in construction and real estate.

“Our delegation’s trip to Hong Kong yielded better results than expected. There are many companies interested in the investment environment in Cambodia, especially in Kampong Speu itself, both in terms of topography and transportation,” he said.

The governor added that eight companies want to come and visit as soon as June, but the delegation requested that they wait until August due to the upcoming national election in July and all of the work that goes into organising it.

“We expect that if these companies come and invest in Cambodia, then the growth of the country’s exports to foreign countries will only continue to increase. It will be able to drive our economic growth and meet or exceed the predictions of more than 6.6 per cent this year,” he said.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng said Kampong Speu is an attractive investment target for international financiers as it is close to Phnom Penh and has relatively convenient access to the expressway in order to send goods south the Sihanoukville port.

“Regardless of the country or region the investors are from, we always welcome legal investment in Cambodia. We also commend the authorities at all levels for their efforts to attract investors and facilitate their ability to operate businesses here, especially in Kampong Speu,” he said.

According to Samnang, there are currently more than 380 factories, including large and medium size manufacturing enterprises, in the province. The factories are producing clothes, footwear and luggage or bags primarily, providing jobs to more than 15,000 workers.