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Chinese to transform coastal provinces

Sum Manet / Khmer Times Share:
An artist’s impression of how China-Cambodia cooperation will transform Preah Sihanouk province. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Top Chinese firms are keen to invest in the coastal provinces of Preah Sihanouk and Kampot and are eyeing to develop sectors that service the lucrative tourist industry, said the Tourism Ministry on Friday.
According to a ministry statement the intention of the Chinese firms was made clear during a meeting between Tourism Minister Thong Khon and Yuan Hao, the CEO of China CYTS Tours Holding Co. Ltd. Also present at the meeting were representatives from China Enterprise News Group, Key Royal Capital, Yunshan Capital and Shu & Cambodia Tianyu Co.
“The consortium of Chinese companies have come searching for investment opportunities in the tourism sector and their target is to plan to invest in coastal areas especially in Preah Sihanouk and Kampot provinces,” said the statement.
“After analyzing the investment climate in the kingdom, these companies are keen to invest in hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, sports clubs and other areas that cater to tourists,” added the statement.
Mr. Khon, in the statement, said: “Cambodia was fully committed to developing tourism as it formed one of the pillars for economic growth.”
“The Cambodian government has developed strong ties with the Chinese government, more so after the recent visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping,” added Mr. Khon.
“Year-on-year, the number of Chinese tourists keep increasing and this is a good sign,” he said.
Cambodia last year recorded around 900,000 Chinese tourist arrivals and the country is on track by 2020 to host about seven million foreign tourists, with two million of them coming from mainland China, the Tourism Ministry said recently.
Taing Sochet Krisna, director of Preah Sihanouk’s tourism department, said the province welcomed all investment in the hotel and restaurant sectors.
“Preah Sihanouk needs good hotels and restaurants to cater to the increasing number of tourists visiting the province,” said Mr. Krisna.
“More investments in the hotel and restaurant sectors will create more jobs and income for local people,” he added.
Ho Vandy, advisor to the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce and president of World Express Tour and Travel, said foreign investment in the country’s tourism sector saw a strong increase in 2008 with about $1 billion flowing into the industry.
“After 2008, we have been seeing a slowdown in foreign investment,” said Mr. Vandy.
 He welcomed the Chinese investment and said it would attract more Chinese tourists to the province.
“Preah Sihanouk is not only a tourism site with coasts, but also a business hub as well,” added Mr. Vandy.
Last June, a China-based consortium said it planned to establish a $3 billion international resort center in the province.
A representative of East Union Silk Road, one of the joint-venture investment companies in the Cambodia Golden Silver Gulf Resort project said the resort would cover 337 hectares of land with $3 billion worth of investments in a large tourism area.

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