The first China International Import Expo was held last week in China, showcasing Cambodian products to Chinese buyers, a government official said.
The expo ran from Monday to Saturday at the National Exhibition and Convention Hall in Shanghai, China.
Ten Cambodian businesses attended the expo and were given an opportunity to showcase their products to buyers from China and other countries.
The Cambodian businesses focused on agriculture and traditional products such as rice, pepper, palm sugar, handicrafts and leather works, as well as silverware and gems.
Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak was in Shanghai on Tuesday to inaugurate a Cambodian pavilion. Mr Sorasak said the CIIE provided Cambodia with a great opportunity to tap into the vast Chinese market, and other international markets.
“For example, a group from the Mongolian delegation along with their business leaders came to see our pavilion to seek trade and economic cooperation between the two nations,” he said, noting that Cambodia has also taken the opportunity to extend an agreement on rice between Cambodia and China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said during the opening ceremony that China has become the biggest importer in the world, spending $20 trillion a year purchasing overseas goods and services.
Mr Sorasak said this is a good opportunity for Cambodian businesses to gain from China’s stance on imports.
“We need to start making our products to be more attractive to China’s market,” he said, adding that volume trade between China and Cambodia was worth $6 billion last year.
Cambodia has exported milled rice, cassava, nuts, semi-processed palm oil and rubber, while China has shipped cars, motorcycles, construction materials, textiles and fertilisers to Cambodia.
Tourism also garnered Chinese interest during the expo as Cambodia aims to attract two million Chinese tourists by 2020.
“In terms of the tourism sector, we hope that the expo will help us attract more international tourists to visit our country because we have a unique charm and beautiful temples,” Mr Sorasak said.
Last year, Cambodia received 5.6 million international travellers, most of whom were Chinese.
The expo, held under the theme “New Era, Shared Future”, brought together more than 3,600 businesses from 172 countries around the world and is the world’s first large-scale event promoting global free trade and economic cooperation.
The expo also exposed a wide variety of products and technologies that foreign companies hoped would attract Chinese buyers.