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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chinese firm seeking investment opportunity in rice exports, hotel industry in Cambodia

China's COFCO, the largest oils and food importer and exporter in China and a leading food manufacturer, on Tuesday afternoon expresses its interest to invest in rice exports and tourism in Cambodia.

"We are very interesting in rice exports from Cambodia and hotel industry in Cambodia,"Yang Hong, vice president of China Oil and Foodstuff Corporation (COFCO), said on Tuesday during a meeting with the officials at the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).

"After the possibility study about the investment opportunity here, we will take the two sectors into investment consideration," she added.

She said that the Beijing-based COFCO Group is a leading firm in the businesses of biofuel and biochemical production, oilseed processing, rice trading and processing for exports, brewing materials production, and wheat processing, moreover, the group also engages in real estate businesses.

Vongsey Vissoth, secretary general of the Ministry of Finance, said that Cambodia has produced 7.3 million tons of rice paddy in 2010, of which the surpass quantity is 3.5 million tones of rice paddy or 2.1 million tons of processed rice that is available for exports.

"China just signed a rice inspection and quarantine cooperation agreement with Cambodia in October that is easier for Chinese investors to export rice from Cambodia,"he said.

Tith Chantha, director general of the Ministry of Tourism, said that currently Cambodia has 438 hotels with 24,239 rooms, accommodating around 2.1 million foreign tourists last year.

"Cambodia has potentials in tourism and the extent of the economy is bigger, it is estimated that Cambodia needs up to 40, 000 rooms by 2015 as the number of foreign tourists is expected around 3.7 million at that year,"he said, adding"so putting your investment in the sector from now is the right time."

The 13-member delegation consisted the officials of COFCO and ICBC.

Sok Cheda, the CDC's secretary general, said that the delegation comes to Cambodia after Jiang Jianqing, President of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) met with Prime Minister Hun Sen on Nov. 5 in Phnom Penh and expressed the bank's purpose to open its branch in Cambodia and he promised with the prime minister to attract more Chinese investors to Cambodia.

Source: Xinhua
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First Cambodia doc in leak

The WikiLeaks website has released the first document in its cache of American diplomatic cables relating to Cambodia, in which eminent Singaporean leader Lee Kuan Yew discusses the Kingdom’s close relations with China.

In a diplomatic cable labeled “secret” and sent in May last year by the American embassy in Singapore, Lee comments on China’s increasing global economic and diplomatic reach, briefly mentioning Cambodia.

“Within hours, everything that is discussed in ASEAN meetings is known in Beijing, given China’s close ties with Laos, Cambodia and Burma,” the cable states, quoting Lee.

The cable is only one of more than 250,000 American foreign policy documents WikiLeaks has pledged to release gradually in the coming months. An initial batch of documents was released on Monday and 281 had been released in total as of yesterday evening.

US embassy spokesman Mark Wenig declined to address the content of the document.

“As a matter of policy, the Dept of State does not comment on allegedly leaked documents,” he wrote in an email yesterday. “Foreign governments should be assured that the United States Government is committed to ensuring the confidentiality of information and will continue to strengthen the security of our systems.”

Officials at the Singapore embassy did not respond to a request for comment yesterday, nor did Chinese embassy spokesman Qian Hai. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said he would “try to check the information”, declining to comment further.

The bulk of the cable released yesterday focuses on Lee’s analysis of North Korean and Chinese politics, with Cambodia mentioned only once. None of the more than 1,000 documents in the WikiLeaks’ archive that US officials classified as Cambodia-related – including 777 cables from the American embassy in Phnom Penh – have yet been made public.
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Talent lines up for Cambodia badlands drama

PRINCIPAL photography begins on Monday on Say Nothing, the new Australian film starring Teresa Palmer and Joel Edgerton.

Writer and director Kieran Darcy-Smith tells Reel Time he had "never felt more alive" ahead of cameras rolling. "I've been waiting for the pressure but I don't feel much pressure yet because it all seems to be falling into place," he says. Darcy-Smith's psychological drama and mystery tells the story of four friends on a Southeast Asian holiday, where one goes missing. The film, also starring Darcy-Smith's wife, co-writer Felicity Price, and Antony Starr, will film in Cambodia in the new year after a Sydney shoot. Darcy-Smith admits he has a love affair with the region having written his first script while travelling there after leaving drama school in 1996.

"The places we're shooting are pretty crazy, the badlands," he says of his filming locations near southern Cambodian coastal town, Sihanoukville. "It's really important to me that it's a credible world and a credible story and shooting Cambodia in Sydney just wasn't going to cut it." He says he feels fortunate the film managed to secure Palmer and Edgerton while their international careers are taking off. Edgerton, who met Darcy-Smith at drama school, later becoming his best man, is about to perform opposite Jennifer Garner in the Disney film, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, while Palmer's latest film, I Am Number Four, is expected to be one of the main sci-fi blockbusters of 2011. Angie Fielder will produce the film in association with Blue Tongue Films with funding from Screen Australia, Screen NSW and Fulcrum Media Finance. Hopscotch Films will distribute the film in Australia and New Zealand.

TWO Australian animated films have made the list of 33 films to qualify for consideration as nominees for best animated short at the coming 2010 Academy Awards. It's a hefty list that includes new shorts from Pixar (the wonderful Day and Night which preceded Toy Story 3), the Road Runner's return at Warner Bros in 3D, and new films from the legendary Bill Plympton and two other former nominees, Tomasz Baginski and Don Hertzfeldt. That said, Shaun Tan's The Lost Thing, adapted by Tan and Andrew Ruhemann, has swept all before it thus far and must be a strong chance to make the final five nominees. Reel Time is yet to see the other local contender, Chris Kezelos's Zero, but it too has a long list of awards alread and is nominated for an AFI Award.

AUSTRALIAN audiences have again ignored an Australian genre film, with the accomplished western Red Hill, starring Ryan Kwanten, only managing $110,000 in its first weekend despite warm reviews and media interest. A weekend in which the seventh Harry Potter film earned another $6.7 million (for $25.85m in 10 days) and a new Robert Downey Jr road trip comedy, Due Date, opened with $2.7m, is hard to read. But Red Hill's screen average of $1912 didn't compare so well with screen averages for independent foreign films including Monsters ($3343), Agora ($5707) and Winter's Bone ($2830). But the question is whether it will result in a sudden shift in development thinking among our film agencies though, after a rapid shift towards genre filmmaking this year.

MELBOURNE family crime drama Animal Kingdom has picked up yet another award, nabbing the best screenplay prize for David Michod at the Stockholm International Film Festival. Debra Granik's US indie drama Winter's Bone was named best film.

THE fourth Asia Pacific Screen Awards will be presented on the Gold Coast tomorrow. The awards, honouring films from the region, will choose from 31 films from 15 countries. Guests will include best actor nominees Tony Barry and Indian star Atul Kulkarni, and best actress nominees Tejaswini Pandit from India and the Chinese star of leading nominee, Aftershock, Xu Fan. The ceremony will be webcast at and on the Australia Network on January 9. Read more!