Archive for January 23rd, 2009

Reasons Why Investors from Korea Fail in Cambodia – Friday, 23.1.2009

Posted on 23 January 2009. Filed under: Week 596 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 596

“Seeming to be floating towards failure of their long term investments in Cambodia, while the global financial crisis expands, investors in construction and in real estate from Korea are seeking interventions from Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, the outstanding Prime Minister of Cambodia.

“The director of the Public Internal Financial Control framework which also represents investors from Korea, Mr. Kim Suan Mok [phonetic], said that because Cambodia has Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen as the cleverest and most intelligent Prime Minister and leader, more investors came to invest in Cambodia unexpectedly.

“Mr. Kim Suan Mok added that being a leader with high determination, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen provides opportunities to investors to invest billions of dollars in Cambodia. They expect to receive warmth from the leadership of Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen as well as support from the Council for the Development of Cambodia; for example Mr. Kim Sun Sok [phonetic] has invested more than US$2 billion in Cambodia, with other investors also having billions of dollars.

“However, the financial crisis which is plaguing the world seems to drive investors in Cambodia more towards failure than towards hope for potential profit from investments in Cambodia. Mr. Kim Suan Mok said that the financial crisis results in a decline of real estate prices in the world by 50%. This led to bankruptcy for some banks. Mr. Kim Suan Mok emphasized that big financial institutions lacking capital had to announced that the world is in crisis, and some financial institutions have to minimize their operations.

“The more than US$2 billion investment mentioned by Mr. Kim Suan Mok is a huge contribution for the Cambodian economy, but some problems, related to skyrocketing prices of real estate in Cambodia, seem to encourage investors to abandon their projects. This will become a bad model for investors having invested their capital, then they will transfer it out again..

Mr. Kim Suan Mok noticed that prices of real estate in the word dropped sharply, but real estate owners in Cambodia seem not to care for world developments and changes. Because the price of real estate in Cambodia is too high, compared to the world market, some investors have given up their plans to buy real estate for investment. Moreover, it is not only investors who worry, but also many Cambodian people are seriously affected by this problem.

“Mr. Kim Suan Mok added that most investors from Korea face failure in Cambodia, and only 10% of them achieve success with their plans. This failure is he result of the fact that most investors did not know the cultural and commercial situation in Cambodia well. Another important point is that investors find it very difficult to find real information leading to success. So far, some investors from Korea have given up their long term investment plans and just wait and see whether the situation of the financial crisis might change soon.

“To support investors so that they have the opportunity to invest in Cambodia for a long period, investors ask the government to help ease the general legal framework for investments, such as the rights to buy and own land for a long period, and not only to lease land from the state for a period of 99 years. The Cambodian government itself should broaden the actual opportunities for investors.

“Also, Mr. Kim Suan Mok appealed to Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen to publish information about the changed global economic situation in order to persuade real estate owners in Cambodia to sell their real estate to investors at prices which are in line with world market price levels.

“Mr. Sung Bunna, director of the Bunna Realty Group and director of the Khmer Real Estate Appraisal Association, said that prices of real estate in Cambodia are fixed and have not declined like in other countries. This is a big problem for investors. Facing the general financial crisis, Mr. Sung Bunna asked the Cambodian government to help rescuing the real estate situation in Cambodia.

“Mr. Sung Bunna estimated that at present, many Cambodian citizen rush to sell their real estate in a narrow market; that means there are many people who rush to sell, while the number of buyers is small. This situation will make the prices of real estate in Cambodia drop dramatically in the near future, and the government should release some money to buy real estate from businesspeople and from banks which might lack money, in order to avoid Cambodia from falling into a crisis.

“Mr. Sung Bunna added that whether the price of real estate in Cambodia will recover again soon or not depends on the confidence of Khmer citizens, but not on foreign investors. Even real estate companies around the country joined as an associations to prevent the price of houses to drop further. In another separate case, more than 730 construction companies are not likely to leave their plans being orphaned too long, and that will be the time when the Khmer real estate sector will be in a good condition again, at the latest in 2010.

“Mr. Sung Bunna appreciates the real estate market in Cambodia which grew strongly in 2008 and provides good economic growth for Cambodia. The prices of real estate might drop dramatically due to the economic crisis, while some businesspeople and banks might encounter a financial crisis and therefore rush to sell their real estate to have financial resources for their trade – but this will have a negative impact on the Cambodian economy; that is, the Cambodian economic growth will drop sharply, making it difficult recover in the future.” Wat Phnom, Vol.16, #8004, 23-25.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 23 January 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #9, 23-27.1.2009

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: Solving Border Disputes with Thailand Has to Be Done Together with the International Community [because it is useless to solve disputes bilaterally]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #109, 23-29.1.2009

  • Siam [Thailand] Prohibits the Import of Agricultural Products from Cambodia [after a meeting between the Thai Prime Minister and his officials to ban the import of agricultural products and to prevent the illegal entry of workers from Cambodia for economic reasons]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1854, 23.1.2009

  • Nearly 10,000 Workers of the Yongwa Factories Held a Violent Demonstration [demanding to release the annual saving money of US$50, which was normally provided to each worker in January – Takhmao, Kandal]

Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #329, 23.1.2009

  • If There Is No Solution [for land disputes with the Heng Development Company and shooting by military police at people] on 23 January 2009] Kandal Stung Residents Will Protest in Front of the National Assembly
  • The Presidents of Unions and Civil Society Ask the Government to Arrest the Real Murderers for Prosecution [who shot dead Mr. Chea Vichea, the former president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia. On 22 January 2009, around 200 people marched with flowers to the site behind Wat Langka where Mr. Chea Vichea was shot dead]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #332, 23-27.1.2009

  • Siamese [Thai] Minister of Foreign Affairs [Mr. Kasit Piromya] Asks to Meet also with [the president of the opposition party] Mr. Sam Rainsy [during his official visit on 25 January 2009 to discuss border disputes]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #190, 23.1.2009

  • Position of Mr. Ke Kim Yan Is Finished – He Is Replaced by Mr. Pol Saroeun as the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces [8 other high ranking military officials are also assigned]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3673, 23-29.1.2009

  • Appeals Court Begins Investigations to Seek the Real Murderers Who Killed Mr. Chea Vichea

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4802, 23.1.2009

  • More Than 300 People Were Arrested during an Operation to Suppress Fishing Crimes, and People Were Detained for Questioning
  • US Ambassador [Ms. Carol A. Rodley] Talks about the Economic Crisis and about Military Relations with Cambodia
  • A Man Took, Tortured, and Raped a 10-Year-Old Girl while Her Grandmother Was Asleep [he was arrested – Kompong Cham]
  • The Director of a Milk Powder Company [mixing melamine plastic into the milk] Was Sentenced to Imprisonment for Life, and Two Others Received the Verdict of Capital Punishment [China]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3673, 23-29.1.2009

  • The Victims Unit of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Announces that Victims of the Khmer Rouge Regime Can now to Lodge Complaints against the Suspect Kaing Gek Eav, Called Duch [the former Tuol Sleng Prison chief, within 10 days before the first hearing on 17 February 2009]

Wat Phnom, Vol.16, #8004, 23-25.1.2009

  • Reasons Why Investors from Korea Fail in Cambodia

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Websites of the Council for the Development of Cambodia Also Sleep – Thursday, 22.1.2009

Posted on 23 January 2009. Filed under: Week 596 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 596

“After visiting the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation – and there was nothing specially new – I began to wonder whether the websites of other state institutions are also all numb or not.

Note:

From the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: ‘International Issues’ – the last entry is from 2003; for 2003, 2002 and 2001 there is only one item each. ‘Statements by H.E. Mr. HOR Namhong’ – up to February 2007. The icons of little flags of China, France, Japan, and South Korean seem to invite to read the documents in the language of these countries – but a click leads back to the English text – the target of the British flag icon. A Khmer language version does not exist.

“Therefore, I started to visit a website of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, which is an important state institution, especially it is tasked to attract investment to Cambodia. It was as disappointing as visiting the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On the websites of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, and on another website, Cambodian Rehabilitation and Development Board (CRDB) – Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), most information, except for laws, is out of date, which is not different from that of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The first website deals with investment, and the second one is related to foreign aid and meetings with donor countries. Both websites do not have information since 2007. [The first of the two sites displays an icon with the Japanese flag – and a click leads really to a Japanese version.]

“As for information about the gross domestic product [GDP], there are only figures for 2005; that means the GDP figures for the last three years, when Cambodia achieved double digit percentages of economic growth, are not published to the world through this website. What is ridiculous, is that the price of land in Phnom Penh, presented to investors, is just between US$357 and US$700 per square meter. Is this information useful for anything?

“In fact, this is very old information, because the price of land in Phnom Penh is now not under thousands of dollars, even though we are facing an economic crisis. The reason, why the Council for the Development of Cambodia publishes such cheap land prices is because those prices are from reports from 2006.

“How about looking for information about the political system on the website? New information related to the political system is also not provided. That means they still present previous information about the parliamentary election results of 2003, where the Cambodian People’s Party won 73 seats, Funcinpec won 26 seats, and the Sam Rainsy Party won 24 seats. Results of the elections in July 2008 are not found on this website. Therefore there is no information saying that the Cambodian People’s Party won 90 seats, the Sam Rainsy Party won 26 seats, the Human Rights Party of Kem Sokha won 3 seats, Funcinpec won 2 seats, and the Norodom Ranariddh Party won also 2 seats among the 124 seats of the National Assembly. As for information about the government, there is nothing; that is, no one knows about the Cambodian government led by Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen. They only keep old information of many years ago, around 100 words in English. They do not present anything to the world about the political stability in Cambodia.

“The Council for the Development of Cambodia should know that political stability is a key factor which can attract foreign investors to invest in Cambodia. This omission is part of the failure to attract foreign investors to come to invest in Cambodia. The role of the Council for the Development of Cambodia is to present detailed information about Cambodia to the world, particularly information related to favorable factors for investment.

“If this website contains mostly unusable information, how can investors decide to invest in Cambodia? Moreover, publishing such information about investment on this website can also make the foreign press use it and publish it in their countries – so they use these figures of investments in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Looking at these investment figures, the press will analyze these data and publish wrong information to the world.

“What the Council for the Development of Cambodia and all state institutions have to know better is to provide information; information is a necessary factor for democratic and free market countries. Additional billions of dollars will flow to Cambodia, if investors receive sufficient information: that Cambodia has political stability and many other favorable factors for investment. They will not take a risk to invest in a country that they do not known well.

“It should be time that all state institutions wake up and catch up so that information technology will be benefiting as much as possible. A lazy Cambodia might be assessed wrongly when seeing such out-of-date information. They might think that those institutions do not do anything for the nation. Written by a citizen” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4801, 22.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 22 January 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #9, 22.1.2009

  • [Foreign] Co-Defense Lawyers of [former Khmer Rouge leader] Nuon Chea Will Appear to Explain Their Corruption Complaint Today [at the Phnom Penh Primary Court]
  • Dey Krahom Residents Ask the Municipal Authorities to Provide between US$30,000 and US$100,000 to Each Family
  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Ms. Mu Sochua Asks the President of the Cambodian People’s Party to Keep the Renakse Hotel as a National Heritage

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1853, 22.1.2009

  • Obama Sworn in to Take His Office and Become the First Black US President
  • Municipal Traffic Police Complain that Money Provided by the Municipality Was Lost for Four Months [Riel 5 million, corresponding to approx. US$1,250, is provided to the Phnom Penh Traffic Police Office monthly, and each traffic police official receives Riel 10,000, corresponding to approx. US$2.50]

Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #328, 22.1.2009

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen: If I Want to Break Up the Alliance between Both Parties [the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party], It Can Be Done Any Day

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #189, 22.1.2009

  • If It Keeps Working, It Is against the Punishment Imposed; therefore It Is Better to Close It [the Bopha Meas Clinic was closed by the Ministry of Health, after violating the ban for private hospitals to pick up and transport patients]
  • The Cambodian Government Adopts a Video Conferencing Program [using e-government technology for state meetings]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6558, 22.1.2009

  • A Teenage Boy and a Teenage Girl [of a group of ten teenagers] Are Arrested for Attacking another Student [one girl was hit until she fainted; all of them are high-school students – Phnom Penh]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3672, 22.1.2009

  • Siamese [Thai] Minister of Foreign Affair [Kasit Piromya] Will Come to Discuss Solutions for the Border Disputes with Cambodia This Weekend
  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Hopes that the New US President Will Improve the Promotion of Democracy

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4801, 22.1.2009

  • Websites of the Council for the Development of Cambodia Also Sleep
  • Research Report [conducted from 9 September to 1 October 2008 by researchers from the Human Rights Center at the University of California at Berkeley and from the Treatment Committee] Found that only a Small Number of Khmer People Know and Follow he Processes of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
  • A Man Died and a Boy Is Seriously Injured because of Playing with Unexploded Ordnance [Pursat]
  • Cambodia and Vietnam Do Not Allow the Building up of Military Activities against Each Other
  • The Minister of Health [Mr. Mam Bunheng] Appeals to Residents Living near the Vietnamese Border to Be Careful with Bird Flue

Samleng Yuweakwey, Vol.2, #6, 22-24.1.2009

  • Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun [who have just been released on bail] Will Attend to Place Flowers for Chea Mony This Morning [the former president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, who was murdered in 2004]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

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