Which country in Asia allows 100% banking license to a foreigner?
Mr. Chanthol believes that trade and logistics facilitation is essential to competitiveness. In the last few years he carried out a migration from manual to automated processes through digitalization, for ex-ample: exporters can get their ownership certification online, as well as new compa-nies, which have access to online business registration from anywhere in the world. Sun Chanthol also focuses on people and decentralizing the Ministry’s services, “my main goal and motivation is to increase the standard of living”. That is how he cre-ated the Trade Training Resource Institute to train in the new processes not only for citizens in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capi-tal, but also in provinces.
Mr. Chanthol also believes that a Cambodian trade facilitator and boost for foreign in-vestment would be to join in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is one of the world’s biggest multinational trade deals. “We do not lose sight of the TPP, we need to get ready in the event that we are invited to join the second round”, he says. “In my opinion Cambodia should not have problems to jump in to be part of the TPP thanks to be-ing an open country with not many restric-tions and at the same time with implemen-tation of labor laws”, he adds.
Sun Chanthol would like to see Cambo-dia’s country as a brand be perceived as one which lives peacefully, with the population of over 15 million becoming more middle class. “Our industrial master-plan policy calls for Cambodia to be a middle-in-come country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050”, he says.
His future plans also include upgrading the national railway, “I am going to push for that in order for our train to be con-nected to the railway of Thailand. So we can ship products all the way to the peo-ple of Malaysia to Singapore and Malay-sia to Thailand to Cambodia”. He will also invest in building new lines from Cambodia to Vietnam connecting to China.
“Inland waterway transport is import-ant, we are blessed with the Mekong Riv-er, but we have not exploited our river or our national endowment to the maximum yet”.
Every economic sector is open to foreign investors. Tell me which country in Asia allows 100% banking license to a foreigner?
As part of his role as Vice-Chairman of the Council for the Development of Cam-bodia (CDC), Sun Chanthol played an im-portant role in building a strong relation-ship with the United States of America and attracting its investment in the country. “For the first time in the history of Cam-bodia and U.S. we created the inter-gov-ernmental task force of the U.S. and Cambodian team, that meet regularly. They want to find a way to expand trade and investment”, he says.
Furthermore, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited the country to strength-en economic ties in January 2016.
In the U.S. you will also find “Cambodia Town”, the largest Cambodian population living outside of the country, located in Long Beach, California. The mile-long area has a variety of Cambodian restaurants, boutiques, grocery stores and additional service centers for Cambodian-Americans that line Anaheim Street. There are almost 20,000 residents of Cambodian descent living in Long Beach, resulting in 4% of the city’s population.
Many of the Cambodians in Long Beach came to the U.S. as refugees from the Khmer Rouge (KR) regime led genocide which spanned from 1975 to 1979. An estimated two to three million people died, equivalent to 20% of the population at the time. There are different sites in the country where vic-tims were taken to be executed, known as the Killing Fields. The monument in Choeung Ek village serves the best known memorial to these victims. Currently, there are still tri-als with charges of crimes against humanity against former members of the KR.
As of 1993 monarchy was restored, changing its official name to Kingdom of Cambodia, which is composed of head of state and head of government under a con-stitutional monarchy. The current Prime Minister, Hun Sen, has become the longest serving non-royal leader in South East Asia and has ruled Cambodia for over 25 years.
Cambodia is worth a visit not only because of its beauty but because of its opportunities, as Bretton Sciaroni, Chairman of the Amer-ican Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) says, “you cannot appreciate the place until you come and take a look for your-self. You can ask people that have been staying here for a while; they will tell you good and bad things. I am not saying that Cambodia is the best place for everyone. Maybe your economic interest would not work so well in here. But a bunch of companies came here and have done very good business. Otherwise, we would not have 7% of annual growth rate”.