Vietnam’s President Nguyen Phu Trong, who is also general-secretary of the ruling Communist Party, is on an official state visit to Cambodia today. Economic relations will continue to be a driving force to create a solid foundation in relations between both countries, writes the Embassy of Vietnam in Phnom Penh.
The official visit today to Cambodia by General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong takes place as Vietnam-Cambodia ties continue to thrive, with strong emphasis on preserving, cementing and promoting relations of “good neighbourliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation and long term sustainability” between the two countries.
Over the past years, Vietnam and Cambodia have been promoting economic cooperation and continue to maintain remarkable growth momentum in all fields.
In 2018, bilateral trade turnover reached $4.68 billion, an increase of 23.2 percent compared with the same period in 2017. In coming years, the two countries’ trade turnover is expected to continue to increase after the agreement on promoting bilateral trade between 2019 and 2020 is signed during the visit of General Secretary/ President Nguyen Phu Trong. The two sides will strive to increase bilateral trade turnover to reach $5 billion by 2020 as agreed by the heads of governments of the two countries.
Regarding investment, Vietnam has about 210 investment projects in Cambodia, mostly in the field of agriculture and forestry with a total registered investment capital of about $3.03 billion, putting Vietnam in the top 10 of foreign direct investment providers in Cambodia. Investment and business activities of Vietnamese enterprises in Cambodia are highly appreciated by Prime Minister Hun Sen and Cambodian leaders, contributing positively to Cambodia’s social welfare and prosperity.
On the other hand, Cambodia’s investment in Vietnam has also progressed positively, and so far there have been 19 projects with a total investment of $63.42 million. Notably, the two countries’ cooperation and investment relations will continue to develop strongly in coming years when leaders of the two countries agree to discuss about ways to match the needs of cooperation and development of Cambodia that is set out in the “Rectangular Strategy” with the capabilities and strengths of Vietnam. Also both countries will set out mechanisms and policies to create an open environment to attract more investments from Vietnamese enterprises to Cambodia, as well as encouraging more Cambodian businesses into Vietnam.
Regarding tourism, in recent years, the tourism industry of both countries has become a sector attracting investment and human resources. In 2018, 800,000 Vietnamese visited Cambodia and Vietnam is the second largest source of tourists to Cambodia after China. Also in the same year, 203,000 Cambodian tourists also visited Vietnam. Vietnam is one of the major tourism markets for Cambodia.
Currently, Vietnam and Cambodia have many favorable areas in tourism cooperation development. One of the advantages is that Vietnam Airlines currently has about 6 to 10 flights a day from the capital Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, creating a strong basis for connecting tourism between Vietnam and Cambodia.
Over time, both countries have also promoted economic and transport connections to further promote the strengths of each country. The Framework Agreement was signed in July 2017 connecting the two economies, negotiations have been completed for the Memorandum of Understanding for the Vietnam–Cambodia Transport Cooperation Strategy 2018 – 2025. In April 2017, the border bridge connecting Long Binh (An Giang) with Chrey Thom (Kandal) was inaugurated. Soon, both Vietnam and Cambodia will focus on connecting transport routes, electricity, tourism, telecommunications and banking. A model border market in Da commune, Memot district, Tboung Khmum Province, is also planned. This is adjacent to the Tan Lap border gate in Tay Ninh province. The model of a “one-stop customs clearing house” will be a reality soon at the Moc Bai border gate in Vietnam and Bavet in Cambodia.
At present, there are still untapped potentials in the two countries’ economic cooperation projects. The prospects are great for the development of bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, tourism, agriculture and education.
Economic relations will continue to be a driving force to create a solid foundation in relations between both countries. This was reaffirmed during Prime Minister Hun Sen’s official visit to Vietnam from December 6-8, 2018.
“Although the world has changed, the situation has changed, Asean has 10 countries but the solidarity of Vietnam and Cambodia will continue to thrive in the future,” said Mr Hun Sen.
“The destiny of the two peoples is inseparable, which is a truth about the history of the two countries; relations of good neighbourliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation and long term sustainability between Vietnam and Cambodia will last forever like the Mekong River connecting the two countries,” the Cambodian premier reiterated.