Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Letter to the editor: Chinese investments in Cambodia are win-win-lose, and guess who’s the loser

Letter to the editor: Chinese investments in Cambodia are win-win-lose, and guess who’s the loser

The entrance to Kratie University flanked with Chinese and Cambodian flags in a photo posted on Facebook last week.
The entrance to Kratie University flanked with Chinese and Cambodian flags in a photo posted on Facebook last week.

Letter to the editor: Chinese investments in Cambodia are win-win-lose, and guess who’s the loser

Editor,

Following The Post’s article titled Hun Sen comes to China’s defence, praises investment and development aid (April 26), I would like to make the following remarks.

The main problem with Chinese investments is their complete lack of transparency, which favours corruption among both Chinese investors and Cambodian government officials. These investments generally consist of “win-win-lose” arrangements, with the Cambodian people being the silent loser.

Foreign investments are expected to create jobs in the host country, which is not the case for Chinese investments in Cambodia because the needed workers are brought from China, where a portion of the money from the “investments” therefore returns. Moreover, transfer of technologies – another benefit normally associated with foreign direct investment – does not exist.

With the import of Chinese labour, no Cambodian workers are trained to acquire professional skills and there is no opportunity to develop the human resources the country badly lacks, as pointed out by Prime Minister Hun Sen himself as an excuse for the omnipresence of Chinese workers. The Hun Sen government is therefore developing a vicious circle that maintains Cambodia in ignorance, poverty and dependence.

We often notice that, when dealing with Hun Sen’s Cambodia, China generously gives with one hand but greedily takes back with the other immediate and disproportionate advantages in the form of mining, forest and land concessions as well as lucrative risk-free business contracts, for example in the production of hydroelectricity.

Massive Chinese tourism is organised around Chinese companies and the remaining money left in Cambodia hardly outweighs the ecological and social costs incurred by our country.

We know Hun Sen desperately needs China’s support to help defend and protect his regime because China does not pay any attention to the rule of law, democracy and human rights in countries where it “invests”. By recklessly siding with China just to cling on to power Hun Sen shows his economic shortsightedness and his lack of consideration for Cambodia’s interests.

Sam Rainsy is the former president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party and President of the Cambodia National Rescue Movement.

MOST VIEWED

  • $3 billion in reserve ahead of possible EBA withdrawal

    The government has reserved around $3 billion to cope with a possible suspension of the Kingdom’s access to the EU’s preferential “Everything But Arms” (EBA) agreement. Hav Ratanak, the director-general of the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s General Department of Budget said this

  • Gov’t to raise 20% more tax revenue

    As part of efforts to achieve a sound macroeconomy, the government plans to increase the revenue raised from taxation and customs and excise by more than 20 per cent next year. The 2020 national budget law approved on Tuesday targets a 28.1 per cent increase in revenue collection

  • ‘Pesticide-laden cucumbers’ kill two, poison 150 in Banteay Meanchey

    At least two youths have died and 243 others are being treated for vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, dizziness and muscle weakness after they ate cucumbers suspected to consist of pesticides. The incident happened on Saturday, said Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Ath Khem. He told The

  • Three dead, 13 injured in collapse at Siem Reap pagoda

    At least three people were killed and more than 10 others injured on Monday after a dining hall under construction collapsed at Prasat Kokchak pagoda in Kokchak commune, Siem Reap province. Provincial police chief Tith Narong said Military Police, soldiers and local volunteers had successfully recovered 16

  • Authorities seize counterfeit wines

    The authorities have cracked down on a business allegedly producing counterfeit red wine in Banteay Meanchey province, arresting three people, while in a separate case, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court was questioning a suspect who was allegedly involved in the illegal production of cosmetic products.

  • Further heritage aiming to join Lakhon Khol

    As the Kingdom marks the first anniversary of the inscription of traditional Cambodian dance drama Lakhon Khol on Unesco’s cultural heritage list, the government is preparing to have 10 other forms of tangible and intangible heritage registered with the UN body. To commemorate the inscription