Cambodia makes waves in Kunming expo

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Cambodian companies exhibiting their products at the fifth edition of CSAEXPO in Kunming. KT

Approximately 20 Cambodian companies are exhibiting their products at the fifth China-South Asia Expo (CSAEXPO) in Kunming, in China’s Yunnan province.

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The event, organised by China’s Ministry of Commerce and the provincial government of Yunnan, kicked off last Thursday, and will run for seven days.

This year’s exhibition of the one-week expo has attracted more than 3,800 companies and organisations from 87 countries, the largest number of participants in the event’s history.

Cambodian companies participating in the expo come from all over the country, occupying 34 booths and exhibiting a myriad of products, including gemstones, leatherware, handcrafted silverware, cigarettes and dried marine products, among others.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Gao Shuxun, deputy governor of Yunnan’s provincial government and director of CSAEXPO, said the event has forged a name for itself throughout the years, becoming more attractive for domestic and overseas enterprises, as evidenced by the thousands of booths displaying products, as well as the enthusiastic crowds touring the expo.

He explained that 8,500 booths have been set up at the fair, covering an area of 190,000 square metres.

Almost half of the exhibitors come from overseas, with enterprises from Denmark, the Netherlands, Kyrgyzstan and Syria joining the event this year for the first time, he said.

“This year’s expo has grown exponentially in size, benefitting from the experience gained during the past four expos,” he said, adding that 12 of the world’s top 500 companies are present in the event.

“The event has grown into an important platform for China to strengthen multilateral and bilateral cooperation and exchanges in diplomacy, economics, trade and culture with South Asia and Southeast Asia,” Mr Shuxun added.

Gao Yan, Vice Minister of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, said that economic and trade relations between South Asian countries and China have achieved a steady momentum.

“In 2017, trade between China and South Asia reached $126.77 billion. China is also one of largest investors in South Asia,” he said, adding that China’s direct investment in the region has surpassed $11.84 billion.

“This close economic and trade relationship has provided the foundation for the success of CSAEXPO in recent years,” he pointed out.

Cambodia’s Secretary of State for Commerce, Choun Dara, said CSAXEPO presented an excellent opportunity for Cambodian enterprises to showcase their products not only to Chinese buyers but also to international consumers.

“I understand some of the participants here today have joined the expo before. This means that the fair is helping them improve sales. I do hope they will keep returning and passing the word to other businesses to encourage more Cambodian companies to come.”

He added that Cambodian traders and businesses must take advantage of the close relationship between China and Cambodia at all levels to cultivate a conduit for exporting their products to markets where they traditionally don’t have a presence.

“Using China as a conduit to move Cambodian products to non-traditional markets will open up greater opportunities for Cambodian products and encourage more SMEs and producers of traditional products to step up their quality and gain an international foothold,” Mr Dara said.

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