The Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has suggested that Russia set up the Russia-Cambodia Investor Council to pave the way for the private sector in both countries to be engaged with each other.
Lim Heng, vice president of the CCC, made the request during his recent visit to Moscow at the invitation of the Russian Chamber of Commerce.
In Moscow, both sides reviewed a memorandum of understanding signed last year between the two chambers of commerce, Mr Heng told a local TV station on Wednesday.
“I made a suggestion that the Russian Chamber of Commerce initiate the Russia-Cambodia Investor Council to spur more talks and facilitate the engagement of the private sector in both countries as well as to encourage further trade,” he said.
“Last year our prime minister and the president of CCC were on an official state visit to Moscow where we also reached an MoU on promoting trade. Now, our mission is to encourage and speed up the work.”
According to Mr Heng, Russian investors and businessmen were interested in Cambodia’s agriculture sector.
“They want to invest in high-tech agro-industrial machinery in our country and export the processed agricultural products back to Russia,” he said.
Cambodia and Russia first established diplomatic links in 1956. According to the Commerce Ministry, bilateral trade between Cambodia and Russia fell from about $60.4 million in 2013 to $48.1 million in 2015.
Cambodian exports to Russia totaled only about $10 million last year, and Cambodia’s major exports to Russia are footwear, rice and textiles. Russian exports to Cambodia range from paper and fertiliser to machinery and medicine.
In April, Russia announced a wide range of measures to help establish an information center in Phnom Penh as part of Cambodia’s development of nuclear energy.
The two countries agreed to set up the center during Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Russia at the Russian-Asean summit last year. At that time, the prime minister said Cambodia had no ambitions to use nuclear energy but the kingdom now plans to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.