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Commercial centres to open in Chinese cities

Cambodia will establish commercial centres in three major Chinese cities to provide information and support to Chinese traders and investors looking to do business in the Cambodian market, a Commerce Ministry official said yesterday.

Soeng Sophary, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, said the three centres will be established in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

“The centres will serve as information hubs and will share all information on trade-related activities,” she said.

Sophary explained that centres would provide information to Chinese investors looking to trade with or invest in Cambodia, and will help traders to find suppliers or distributors here.

“There will be more support on trade between Cambodia and China, so bilateral trade between the two countries will grow stronger,” she said.

On Saturday, Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak presided over a signing ceremony for establishment of the three centres with visiting representatives of three Chinese companies: tourism operators HYT International Transport Service and Shanghai Spring International Service (Group), and real estate management firm Guangzhou Jinsui Industry Group.

The agreement followed Chinese President Xi Jinping’s two-day state visit to Cambodia in which the two countries signed 31 agreements to boost cooperation, including $238 million in soft loans, $89 million in debt forgiveness and $15 million in military aid.

According to Sophary, the three Chinese firms have agreed to cover the full rental fees of the commercial centres.

Ngoun Meng Tech, director-general of Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC), explained that in the past, Chinese investors often needed to visit Cambodia to gather basic information on trade or investment. However, the new commercial centres would give them more options and facilitate the investment process.

“Without detailed information, investors always hesitate to put investment in, or take a long time before deciding to do business,” he said. “The [new commercial centres] will make it easier for Cambodian and Chinese people to do business, saving them time and money.”

According to the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia, bilateral trade between China and Cambodia during the first half of the year topped $2.3 billion, a 10 percent increase over the same period last year. In 2015, the two countries recorded $4.4 billion in trade.

China has invested about $14 billion in Cambodia since 1994, according to the Council for the Development of Cambodia.

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