China said it will endeavour to increase the volume of products it imports from Cambodia.
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In a meeting last week with Prime Minister Hun Sen in Phnom Penh, Zhang Chunxian, vice-chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, said Cambodian products have “great potential”.
“China’s market is huge, so I will tell our Minister of Commerce and other Chinese leaders to try to open the Chinese market to more Cambodian products,” Mr Zhang said.
Cambodia now exports bananas, maize, cassava, and milled rice to the East Asia economic giant, according to figures from the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture. However, there are plans to negotiate the trade of other agricultural products, including mango, longan, durian, dragon fruit, pepper, and coconuts.
Ministry of Agriculture Hean Vanhan said that strengthening standards in the industry is a must to expand trade with China.
“We must meet sanitary and phyto-sanitary requirements in order to increase our exports to the Chinese market,” he said.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said during the meeting with the Chinese official that the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) will expand at a rate of 7.3 percent in 2018 and 2019.
“Despite pressure from the European Union, who are threatening to revoke the Everything-but-arms deal, Cambodia will still expand its economy by 7.3 percent this year and the next, which is very high for the region,” Mr Hun Sen said.
The World Bank recently revised the country’s economic growth upward, estimating it will be 7 percent in 2018.
The World Bank, according to its East Asia and Pacific report, said economic growth in Cambodia is driven mainly by external demand, exports, rising government spending, and up-beat investor sentiment.
The Asian Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund put national growth at 7 percent and 7.25 percent respectively this year.