Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday reiterated his commitment to the ‘One China’ policy and stressed the role China plays in the economic development of the Kingdom.
Speaking during a dinner organised by the Cambodian-Chinese Association, Mr Hun Sen said the current approach to Sino-Cambodian relations dates back to the reign of King Norodom Sihanouk, and added that Cambodia will always respect China’s unity and sovereignty.
“Now, the relation between China and Cambodia has expanded. Through our strong relationship and cooperation, Cambodia hopes to continue attracting Chinese investors and tourists,” he said, pointing out that last year 1.7 million Chinese holidaymakers visited the Kingdom.
“I hope the influx of Chinese tourists will continue to grow because they are an important source of revenue for the country.”
The premier also said the Cambodian market is open to Chinese products and said the government will continue its work to facilitate Chinese investment.
Regarding the association holding the event, the premier said, “I am very proud of the work the Cambodian-Chinese Association is carrying out, contributing to the political and economic stability in the country and helping Cambodia achieved 7.5 percent economic growth in 2018.”
According to government data, from January to June 2018, Chinese investment was worth $5 billion, making China the biggest investor in the Kingdom. Chinese investors are involved in almost every economic sector, from energy to infrastructure, and from tourism to real estate and finance.
Trade between Cambodia and China reached $5.6 billion last year, a 12 percent increase from 2017’s $5 billion.
Pung Kheav Se, president of the association, said Chinese and Cambodian Chinese investors play a big role in the social and economic development of the country.
“This year we will boost trade between the two countries. Cambodian Chinese people will continue to play a vital role in the development of the country.”
Chinese president Xi Jinping in January agreed to increase the quota for Cambodian rice imports to 400,000 tonnes for 2019, up from last year’s 300,000 tonnes.
In 2018, Cambodia exported 626,225 tonnes of rice to international markets. China was the largest buyer, purchasing 170,000 tonnes.
During a meeting in Beijing between Mr Hun Sen and Mr Xi in January, Mr Xi said the ties between China and Cambodia are very special, according to a post on Mr Hun Sen’s Facebook page.
“It is an important relationship between the two nations,” the post said. “He [Mr Xi] said that China and Cambodia will continue to work together and cooperate in all sectors, including politics, security, economy and between people and people.”