The ties between Cambodia and China in trade, investment and tourism have steadily grown from year to year thanks to good relations between the two countries, Cambodian Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh said Tuesday.
"China is one of our key trading partners. The two-way trade volume was about 2.5 billion US dollars last year and the two sides are committed to doubling the amount to 5 billion US dollars in 2017," he told reporters after a forum to promote Cambodia's business and investment potential to Chinese business people.
Cambodia saw China as a large market for Cambodian products, particularly garment and textile items, because China has provided duty-free treatment for Cambodian garments and textiles, he said.
"China is a huge market for Cambodia. While the Europe and the US are facing economic slowdown, China's economy remains high-- more than 7 percent so that China remains the world's growth engine," the minister said.
China remains Cambodia's largest investor. Currently, more Chinese investors have come to do businesses in Cambodia, he said, adding that he has granted licenses to about 10 garment factories from China each month.
"Chinese investors choose Cambodia for their ventures because Cambodia has preferential law and regulations and labor cost is cheaper than that in Thailand or Vietnam," he said.
The country attracted about 183 million US dollars in investment from China in the first seven months of this year, bringing the total Chinese investment in the country to 9.05 billion dollars from 1994 to July, 2012, according to a report of the Council for the Development of Cambodia.
On the tourism side, the minister said that Chinese tourists are the third largest arrival groups to Cambodia thanks to Cambodia's political stability and attractive tourist destinations.
Some 265,330 Chinese visitors came to Cambodia in the first 10 months of this year, a 34-percent rise compared with the same period last year, according to the latest tourism statistics.