Site Selection

JUL 2015

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S I T E S E L E C T I O N JULY 2015 15 hen you think of business opportunity in Southeast Asia, does Cambodia spring to mind? With the advent of the ASEAN Economic Community in December this year, maybe it should. While the "Doing Business 2015" rankings from the World Bank still rank the country low in ease of doing business (No. 135 of 189 countries), it's a place where GDP growth averaged nearly 8 percent from 1995 to 2012 and per-capita income rose from $248 to $878 during that same period (it reached $1,036 in 2013). Moreover, it's home to a population of 15 million that's trending out of poverty and toward young and ambitious, with a median age of 24.1. This spring, for the second time in a year, Cambodian Minister of Commerce His Excellency Chanthol Sun, a Wharton- and Harvard-educated former GE executive, was in the United States on a trade mission. Since his appointment in 2013, he's spearheaded a comprehensive series of reforms aimed at rooting out corruption and cultivating foreign direct investment. "Cambodians are now my shareholders," Sun said last year. "I work for them." "Cambodia is quickly evolving from a country where investment policies did not align with implementation to a country where foreign investors can quickly take advantage of one of the most liberal investment environments in Asia," says John Evans, managing b y A D A M B R U N S a d a m . b r u n s @ s i t e s e l e c t i o n . c o m W Cambodia's Minister of Commerce moves fast with reforms so that new FDI will move faster to his homeland. Next Level S O U T H E A S T A S I A International tourist arrivals to Cambodia reached 4.5 million in 2014, more than double the number fve years earlier. Photo by Soo Jones-Kelley, www.soojkphotog.com (Continued on page 18)

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