China was No. 1 foreign investor in Cambodia last year in terms of approved projects in Cambodia, nearly four times the capital of second-placed South Korea, national media on Thursday quoted official figures as saying.
China invested 4.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2008 in Cambodia, or 40.14 percent of the total, and South Korea 1.2 billion U.S. dollars, or 11.39 percent of the total, said the 2008 report issued by the Cambodian Investment Board.
The Chinese projects were in a wide range of sectors, including garments, hydropower, agribusiness and bodiless, while the largest Chinese investor was Tong Min Group Engineering with 3.8 billion U.S. dollars for a coastal development project in Kampot province, it added.
"The Chinese leadership encourages investors to come to Cambodia... (and) the Chinese government is pushing investors to come here," Sok Chanda, secretary general of the Council for Development of Cambodia, was quoted by English-language newspaper the Phnom Penh Post as saying.
In addition, China expert Michael Sullivan said that close ties between the private sector and the government gave Chinese firms an advantage.
"This is all occurring within the context of emerging bilateral ties between China and Cambodia," said Sullivan, who is conducting a research for the Association of Southeast Asian Studies under UK sponsorship.
In 2007, the Cambodian Investment Board put Malaysia as the foreign investment champion, with China and South Korea trailing behind.