More than 50 business leaders and investors from Dezhou city, Shandong province in China, are seeking investment opportunities and Cambodian partners in the fields of agriculture, construction, machinery, food processing, technology and cars, renewable energy and sports equipment.
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Speaking at a business-matching function between Cambodia and Dezhou, Cambodian secretary of state at the Commerce Ministry Chhoun Dara said it was a pivotal event for Cambodia and Chinese enterprises.
He said that Cambodia is trying to facilitate Chinese investment in Cambodia, both through legal frameworks and the investment and business environment.
“We encourage Chinese and Cambodian enterprises to take this opportunity to discuss partnering further and expand investment in Cambodia to boost the economy of both countries,” Mr Dara said.
“Cambodia will not create technical barriers for imported products from China to Cambodia.”
Pung Kheav Se, president of the Association of Khmer-Chinese in Cambodia, said that China is not only Cambodia’s largest trading partner and the largest source of foreign investment, but also Cambodia’s largest source of tourists.
He said that the main concerns of foreign investors were because they were not well informed about investment policy in Cambodia, so the Association of Khmer-Chinese would be a bridge between Chinese investment and Cambodia.
“Through this event I hope that there will be collaboration on business and joint-venture investment between Dezhou’s investors and Cambodian counterparts to benefit both countries,” Mr Kheav Se said.
He added that Cambodia lacks funds but has a lot of resources for investors.
Dezhou governor Chen Fen said there would be more investment in Cambodia from Dezhou.
He said he would encourage big and well known companies in Dezhou to invest in Cambodia.
Mr Fen said many project deals were signed with Thai enterprises during a recent visit to Thailand, and an agriculture company from Dezhou has signed a trade partnership with Cambodia.
Mr Fen said more than 330 companies from Dezhou were cooperating and investing in Asean countries, in sectors including textile and agriculture.
He said from January to May, trade between Asean and Dezhou was about $270 million while trade between Cambodia and Dezhou was about $2.2 million.
“We hope that through the Association of Khmer-Chinese in Cambodia, there will be encouragement of investment from Dezhou to Cambodia.
Xu Ning Ning, chief executive of the Council China-Asean Trade, said that Cambodia should promote more investment opportunities to Chinese investors because the majority of Chinese investors have prioritised Asean.
“Chinese companies are looking at the investment opportunities in Asean countries, so I encourage companies in Cambodia to promote itself further and seek investment partners in China,” Mr Xu said.
Trade between Cambodia and China in 2016 was $4.8 billion, up 7.4 percent on the previous year.
China is the largest rice export market for Cambodia. By end of 2016, China’s total contracted investment in Cambodia was $11.8 billion, accounting for 34.3 percent of Cambodia’s total foreign investment.