October 22, 2011

Cambodian PM's visit to China fruitful: commerce minister


PHNOM PENH, Oct. 21 -- The visit of Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen to China's Nanning to join the 8th China-ASEAN expo and investment and business summit has brought Cambodia with humanitarian aids and closer ties on politics, trade and investment between Cambodia and China, concluded Cambodia's Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh on Friday.

During his stay in Nanning, the capital city of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Prime Minister Hun Sen had met with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to discuss ways to further strengthen and expand the bilateral cooperation, Prasidh told reporters at Phnom Penh International Airport upon the prime minister's return from China.

He said that Hun Sen informed Wen about the worst floods that have hit Cambodia since August and killed 247 people as well as damaged about 10 percent of agricultural crops this year.

In response, Wen expressed deep sympathy over the loss of life and crops and he pledged to provide an additional 1.5 million U.S. dollars to help Cambodian flood victims.

Last week, China donated the emergency flood relief aids worth 50 million yuan (7.8 million U.S. dollars) and the aids included medications, medical supplies, mosquito nets, blankets, towels and other relief materials. The supply had been airlifted by two planes to Cambodia over the weekend.

"This is thanks to the good relations between Cambodia's and China's leaders," said Prasidh.

In the meeting, both premiers also promised to strengthen cooperation in all regional and international forums.

Hun Sen thanked China for fully supporting Cambodia's candidacy for the non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in next year vote.

The two premiers also pledged to boost the bilateral trade volume to 2.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2012, Prasidh said, adding that the trade between the two countries this year is expected to reach 2 billion U.S. dollars, up from 1.44 billion U.S. dollars in 2010.

"We foresee that milled rice and garment products will be the key products to boost Cambodia's exports to China," he said.

On the investment side, Wen promised to encourage more Chinese companies to Cambodia, said Prasidh, adding that China's investment in Cambodia in 2010 was 694 million U.S. dollars, the largest investor in Cambodia.

During in China's Nanning, Hun Sen also met with the management of the China Development Bank and the governor of China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. On Friday morning, he joined the 8th China-ASEAN expo and investment and business summit.

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