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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        7  April 2011

Hyundai begins Cambodian car assembly line

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Hyundai's first Cambodian car assembly plant in Koh Kong province will officially launch in coming weeks, but is already assembling up to 100 vehicles per month.

The plant is owned by Camko Motor Company, a joint venture between Hyundai distributor KH Motors and Cambodia’s Ly Young Phat Group.

“We have started assembling vehicles, between 50 and 100 cars per month, and we’re selling them on the Cambodian market,” said Camko Motor Director of Operations Jo Young Dae yesterday.

Although it began producing vehicles at the beginning of the year, the firm awaits a decision by businessman Ly Young Phat on the date for the opening ceremony, where high-ranking officials will be invited to join.

“It will open as soon as possible,” said Jo Young Dae.

The factory sits in the Koh Kong Special Economic Zone, 370 kilometres southwest of Phnom Penh. Construction costs are expected to eventually total US$62 million, though the investment is set for three stages.

Sun Dara, Deputy Governor of Koh Kong province, said yesterday that the factory will foster the province’s economic development.

“It is very good to have the car factory here. It can create more jobs for local people in the province, and boost national economic growth,” he said.

The Hyundai plant joins another company which has been assembling vehicles in Preah Sihanouk province.

RMA has been assembling military ambulances for several years in the coastal province, and is considering plans for more assembly in the Kingdom, according to its Country Manager Rami Sharaf.

Domestic vehicle assembly ultimately benefits consumers, who receive lower prices, he said.

“It’s the same brand from the same company ... but with lower price,” he said.

RMA also imports Ford vehicles to the Kingdom as well as other products such as heavy machinery, and runs food and beverage outlets such as the Pizza Company and Swensen’s.

Rami Sharaf is the president of the recently formed Cambodia Automobile Industry Chamber, which has received necessary approvals, and aims to represent industry concerns.

Meanwhile, Toyota (Cambodia) Company Chairman Kong Nuon said yesterday that the firm was not afraid of competing with the latest assembly plant.

“We are not worrying about Hyundai vehicle assembly here because we have different brand names, models and quality and prices, and also different customers,” he said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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