PHNOM PENH, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Wednesday that the temporary halt on granting economic land concessions to new companies will be extended until he retires from politics.
"During my leadership, the provisions of additional economic land concessions to investors will not be done anymore. The suspension will last for a long-term period -- it could be suspended until I get retired," he said during delivering land titles to residents in Southwestern Kampot province.
Hun Sen's announcement was made after his order in May to temporarily halt all granting of economic land concessions to new local and foreign firms, saying that the moratorium was to strengthen the effective management of the existing economic land concessions.
"If any (new) investing companies want to invest in agriculture, they can invest in processing plants, now we are promoting the processing of agricultural crops such as cassava...," he said. "We lack processing factories; we need foreign investors for this sector."
According to the Agriculture Ministry, since 1993 to 2011, the country has granted 1.19 million hectares of economic land concessions to 118 investment firms including 41 domestic companies and 77 foreign firms from China, Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, the United States, Malaysia, India, Singapore, Israel, Australia and Sweden.
A company could get maximum 10,000 hectares of economic land concessions for maximum 99 years. Types of crops or trees planting in those areas include rubber, palm oil, eucalyptus, sugar cane and cassava.