Cambodia is set to open a trade centre in Shanghai – China’s biggest city and a global financial hub – in a move to attract Chinese investment to the kingdom, said the Ministry of Commerce yesterday.
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Seoung Sophary, spokeswoman at the ministry, said Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak made this announcement when he met with a group of businessmen from Shanghai led by Yu Ling Xiong, president of the Shanghai Zheshang Business Industrial Group.
“With our close government-to-government relationship, this trade centre in Shanghai will play a big role in providing information and advice to Chinese investors and businessmen,” said Ms Sophary.
“This trade centre will also promote tourism and culture in order to attract Chinese tourists to visit Cambodia,” she added.
Cambodia last year recorded around 900,000 Chinese tourist arrivals and the kingdom is on track by 2020 to host about seven million foreign tourists, with two million of them coming from mainland China, according to the Tourism Ministry.
In May, the government opened a trade centre in Shaanxi province which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Hun Sen.
In November last year, Cambodia officially launched a trade centre in Haining, in China’s province of Zhejiang, to promote culture and diversify the export of Cambodian products to Chinese markets.
Ms Sophary could not confirm the exact date when the Shanghai trade office would be officially opened, but added that “it could be by the end of the year”.
“This trade office is our contribution to China’s Belt and Road Initiative,” she said.
In 2016 trade reached about $4.8 billion of which exports from Cambodia amounted to $830 million and imports from China were $3.9 billion.
Up to the end of 2016, fixed asset investment from China reached $5.1 billion, with the main focus on areas including garments and textiles, construction and electric power.