Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday that a direct air connection between Phnom Penh and Ankara is needed to bolster economic and diplomatic relations with Turkey.
Speaking to Ilhan Kemal Tug, Turkey’s outgoing ambassador to Cambodia, in the capital’s Peace Palace, the premier said that a direct flight between Cambodia and Turkey was important to further the rapport between both nations and enhance economic ties.
“With the relationship between our countries improving, we need to do more to boost economic cooperation, particularly when it comes to investment and trade,” Mr Hun Sen said.
“More importantly, we need a direct flight linking Turkey and Cambodia to improve connectivity.”
Mr Tug said he regretted not seeing a direct flight connecting Phnom Penh and Ankara during his four years as ambassador to the kingdom, and said he hoped his successor would be able to successfully promote a direct air connection between both nations.
Ho Vandy, the secretary-general of the Cambodia National Tourism Alliance, agreed with the prime minister and said a direct flight with Ankara was badly needed.
“Presently, most Turkish tourists visit us via Thailand. A direct flight with Turkey will not only improve tourism numbers, it will also increase investment and trade,” he said.
In 2016, Cambodia welcomed more than 6,500 Turkish tourists, an increase of 14 percent compared with 2015.
During the first four months of 2017, 3,095 Turkish travellers visited the kingdom, a marked increase of 37 percent compared with the same period in 2016.