With diplomatic and trade ties with the East Asian giant at an all-time high, Cambodia has announced plans to build a Cambodian cultural village in Beijing and more trade centres in different Chinese provinces.
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Speaking on Wednesday during the opening of this year’s China-Cambodia Business Forum in Tianjin, China, Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak said the new trade centres will help build engagement with Chinese businesspeople and investors.
“We have also decided to build a Cambodian-Chinese cultural village in Beijing, which will be completed soon.
“We have also recently opened a trade center in Xi’an in Guangzhou province.
“We will continue to open more of these in other Chinese provinces to promote investment and disseminate information for the benefit of Chinese businesspeople and investors interested in exploring opportunities in Cambodia,” he said.
Cambodian exports to China rose sharply during the first 11 months of 2017, by as much as 18 percent compared to the same period in 2016.
China is the biggest investor into the Cambodian economy. In 2016, Chinese investors put 5.1 billion in key sectors of the Cambodian economy, including manufacturing, textile and electricity.
“The relationship between both countries, including the private sectors, has improved significantly in recent times,” Mey Kalyan, senior advisor to the Supreme National Economic Council, told Khmer Times.
“At the same time, because our economies are so different, we need to be more selective when considering these investment projects. We need to assess the economic benefits to our country.
“We have to look at three main factors – the economic, social and environmental impact,” Mr Kalyan said.
He said that China has played a crucial role in Cambodia’s development through its development assistance program. “Their ODA has contributed to our economy very efficiently.”
As of February 2017, China has spent $4.2 billion in development assistance in Cambodia. The money has mostly gone to infrastructure development, as well as agriculture, health and education projects.