"We continue to encourage SOEs and Indonesian entrepreneurs to enter Cambodia. There is still plenty of room for our entrepreneurs and state-owned enterprises to do business and invest in Cambodia," Ambassador Sudirman Haseng told Antara in Phnom Penh on Friday.
He mentioned that the present is the right time for SOEs and Indonesian businessmen to start entering and investing in infrastructure development projects in Cambodia.
"The thing that we are emphasizing on is infrastructure development in Cambodia, specifically to provide opportunities for SOEs and Indonesian businessmen to play a role and invest in infrastructure development projects for public facilities, telecommunications, and gas pipelines in Cambodia," Ambassador Sudirman said.
In addition, he continued, Indonesian businessmen and SOEs were also encouraged to start doing business by utilizing natural resources in Cambodia which were relatively unexplored and optimally managed.
"Indonesian companies and SOEs need to explore minerals here because there is still a lot of space, for example, gold and oil content has not been well explored here," he said.
The Indonesian Ambassador said that so far, there have been no SOEs or Indonesian companies that have invested directly in Cambodia, but many have begun exploration to start doing business in Cambodia.
According to Ambassador Sudirman, the main obstacle preventing Indonesian entrepreneurs from doing business in Cambodia is a disproportionate perception of the country.
"This is partly influenced by inaccurate and `updated` information. The image of most Indonesians with regard to Cambodia is that it`s still underdeveloped," he explained.
In fact, Cambodia in recent years experienced rapid economic growth to reach an average of seven percent, which is of a higher value than Indonesia`s economic growth.
"Indeed, Indonesian investment in Cambodia is not as expected, but there is an increase in interest from Indonesian entrepreneurs to invest in Cambodia," Ambassador Sudirman said.
"Our investment does not have to be money from Indonesia, usually cooperating with multinational banks, but Indonesian companies doing projects. This is still considered an Indonesian investment because it is carried out by Indonesian companies; only financial sources do not have to be domestic (Indonesia), "he continued.
Yuni Arisandy Sinaga, Eliswan