Cambodian businesses are hoping to boost bilateral trade with China to $5 billion by 2017, as the Kingdom looks to increase trade contracts and exports of local food products.
At a business matchmaking event organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Cambodia International Chamber of Commerce, Chhuon Dara, secretary of state at the Commerce Ministry, said that locally made goods could be highly competitive in the Chinese market, despite certain products needing to meet Chinese requirements.
“Owners of the companies, whose products are still not qualified to be exported, should try to additionally research, develop its products for better quality in order to enter international market,” said Dara.
Several product manufacturers were unaware of the standards required by Chinese distributors.
Leang Bibi, sales manager at coffee exporter Three Corner Coffee Roasters, said an open and transparent discussion with his Chinese counterparts would better enable him to gauge the Chinese market.
“We’ve heard the speeches, but I want to know more about the details of exports,” Bibi said.
Last year, bilateral trade between China and Cambodia decreased marginally from $3.77 billion in 2013 to $3.75 billion.
Cambodian exports to China increased by 33 per cent to $483 million while Chinese exports to Cambodian decreased by almost 4 per cent to $3.274 million.
In May, Prime Minister Hun Sen called for an increase in Chinese investments and to extend cooperation between the two countries beyond China’s interests in the special economic zone in Sihanoukville.
Between 1994 and 2012, China invested a total of $9.17 billion into Cambodia, with most of the investments going towards agriculture, infrastructure, garments and mining, according to the Council for the Development of Cambodia.