ASEAN Grassroots Peoples Assembly
At the Korean Culture Center the forum on the issues of Food Security and Sovereignty, free trade, corporate social responsibility was conducted by the representatives of Focus Organization and LVC. The meeting stated with about 250 people and was divided into two sessions – morning and evening.
The morning session had two discussions:
1) Cambodia Investment and local Investment, which came after the introduction of participants who came from different communities, united communes, and civil society organisations in Cambodia and the ASEAN region.
The starting point was investment, which was presented by Mr. Seng Sok Heng from the Association of Community Peace Building. He spoke about the general idea of investment, type of investment, who is the investor, the processes of investment, and the impact of investment in Cambodia.
With the potential of natural resources and agriculture, Cambodia can attract more investments in agriculture, mining and energy, enterprise; service and labour, construction and infrastructure, tourism, by provided the incentive for that investment.
By doing these, there are four factors that government of Cambodia have to consider: agriculture, privatization, human resources and the economy. All in order to develop the country.
In conclusion, although the investment in Cambodia is increasing from year to year, but the impact stills the main issues for government to solve.
2) Regional investment was discussed by Mr. Geoset, a member of Focus Organization, with a focus on increasing regional and external investors.
Intra-Regional Trade is the investment between countries in regional, which provides more benefit for not just the country, but also region. So it can potentially get a country to produce more products and export more, which spurs on gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
As the result, the economic growth between the countries in the region is about 5-8 percent. This would be a sign of the free flow of investment when the integration that comes with the ASEAN Economy Community in 2015. Currently, there are 175 free trade agreements in ASEAN alone and approximately 320 bilateral trade agreements. The distribution of them among all the people is the region is not equitable, as only a small group of investors truly benefits.
The time for recommendations and question from the forum then followed. Questions centered on the impact of investment, the incentive for investment, integration, and a free-market.
– Khim Vathanea