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‘Chinese Desk’ to be established at ministry

May Kunmakara / Khmer Times Share:
A branch of the Bank of China in Phnom Penh, near Canadia Tower. Supplied

The Bank of China will set up a ‘Chinese Desk’ at the Ministry of Commerce to help Chinese businesses operating in the Kingdom.

The initiative was proposed last week by Chen Changjiang, CEO of Bank of China’s Phnom Penh branch, during a meeting with Pan Sorasak, the Minister of Commerce.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Commerce, Mr Sorasak agreed to the establishment of the desk at the meeting. A memorandum of understanding will be signed in the near future, the ministry said, adding that the desk will allow Chinese businesses to conduct payments through WeChat Pay and Alipay which are very popular with Chinese consumers.

During their meeting, Mr Sorasak asked Bank of China to consider increasing lending to finance the construction of silos in Cambodia to help the rice sector.

Mr Sorasak said a lack of storage space remains one of the biggest challenges in the sector, and stands in the way of Cambodia reaching the goal of exporting 1 million tonnes of milled rice per year.

“I requested Bank of China to disburse more loans for the construction of silos in Cambodia and for the agricultural sector in general,” said Mr Sorasak.

Mr Chen told the Cambodian minister that he will study the possibility of increasing lending to the local rice sector.

During the state visit of Prime Minister Hun Sen to Beijing in January, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Hun Sen agreed to boost two-way trade to $10 billion by 2023.

Trade between Cambodia and China reached $5.6 billion last year, a 12 percent year-on-year increase.

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