Cambodia plays a prominent role in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region as part of the huge investment and infrastructure development strategy that is China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), said Zhang Xiaqin, deputy director of the Standing Committee of Guangxi.
She spoke at the third Trade and Investment Forum on Business and Investment Opportunities in Cambodia, which was held in Nanning city.
Ms Zhang said the investment forum, organised in conjunction with the 15th China-Asean Expo (Caexpo), stressed the importance of maintaining and enhancing bilateral relations, as well as city-to-city and people-to-people connectivity.
“Guangxi has expanded and improved cooperation with Cambodia in many sectors such as economic, trade, tourism, finance, cultural, and regional agriculture. Guangxi has also accelerated development of trade with Cambodia.
“For our region’s strategic investment plan to be successful, Cambodia and China as well as the southwestern part of Asean must initiate full cooperation and collaboration in line with the BRI. This will help in accelerating investment and infrastructure development,” Ms Zhang said.
She said the China-Asean Expo 2018 was an important forum to promote economic, trade, political, diplomatic and cultural ties between the two countries.
Ms Zhang said this was necessary to develop investment opportunities and business activities as well as building regional and local markets within the framework of the Asean-China Free Trade Area and Cambodia-China comprehensive cooperation. The forum also promotes regional economic integration, she added.
“China would like to push for the Belt and Road Technological Innovation Action Plan with Asean countries and build regional transfer technology and cooperation networks. It will promote technology transfer and high-tech personnel training. It aims to provide strong technological and intellectual support for regional development,” Ms Zhang stressed.
With ‘Jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Forging the China-Asean Community of Innovation’ as theme, the 15th edition of Caexpo is currently hosting a series of exhibitions, forums and various exchange programmes on bilateral cooperation in economy, trade, innovation, production capacity and other fields.
The forum was organised by the Cambodia Inter-Ministerial Committee for the World Expo and International Trade Exhibition, and supported by the China-Asean Expo Secretariat.
Dr Chhoun Dara, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Commerce, who also spoke at the forum, said the 20-percent increase in participants at the expo was significant as it coincided with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Cambodia-China diplomatic relations and the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Asean-China strategic partnership.
He said he was honored to attend the China-Cambodia business forum as well as the investment and tourism promotion forums. Cambodia and the Guangxi Commerce Department strongly supported ten past forums in the city of Nanning, offering opportunities for trade and investment exchanges, he added.
“Cambodia strongly supports the operational work for the BRI and the government will also build further links between China and Cambodia. The establishment and success of the proposed commercial centres in China, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Nanning, Xi’an and Macao to promote trade and investment in the region will only be attained if we have free flow of goods and products and promote cultural and tourism activities as well as trade and investments from Cambodia to China and vice versa.”
Caexpo, said Mr Dara, has promoted trade in goods and services, advanced technology transfers, city-to-city exchanges and sub-regional cooperation between the two sides.
It has also become an accelerator of the China-Asean Free Trade Agreement (Cafta), which was established on January 1, 2010, enabling investors from China and Asean to enjoy most-favoured-nation treatment and a fair and equitable treatment between each other.