Two-way trade between Cambodia and China’s Guangzhou sub-province increased over 46 percent in the first four months of 2010 compared with the same period last year, and it will grow still more, according to the head of a trade-seeking delegation from the province.
Yu Ruheng, vice president of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Guangzhou Council (CCPITGC), who led 50 Chinese companies comprising 80 businesspersons in a two-day visit to the Kingdom, said total imports-exports between the regions were estimated to have reached US$1.4 million in the first four months of this year, from $924,065 for the same period last year.
“This shows a very good surging point. However, the trade volume is still quite limited, meaning we have a lot of potential for further improvement,” Yu Ruheng said at the meeting of the delegation with Cambodian businesses on Wednesday at Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld Hotel and Casino.
China signed the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement in early January this year (C-AFTA) to lower some trade tariffs with the aim of reducing them to zero by 2015.
But trade flows have seen year-on-year growth between the Kingdom and the sub-province in the past two years despite the “tsunami” of the world economic crisis, Yu Ruheng said, pointing out that bilateral trade had risen to $3.8 million in 2009, up 2 percent from $3.7 million in 2008.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) President Kith Meng told the delegation at the NagaWorld meeting that Cambodia’s pool of labour is large and growing, the political environment is stable, and that the country is further enhancing competitiveness with further infrastructure projects in roads, railway and electricity.
“You have chosen a very good time to visit Cambodia. This country has developed significantly in recent years and will continue to do so,” Kith Meng said. “Improvements in both the road and rail system will permit easier movement of goods around the country and to export points, particularly for Greater Mekong countries.”
He added; “By combining China’s experience in developing a manufacturing base with an increasingly reliable electricity supply here, and a large and relatively low-cost labour force, we can rapidly grow Cambodia’s manufacturing industry,” he said.
Guangzhou’s exports to Cambodia were mainly machinery, electronics, furniture, light products and medicine, and Cambodia’s exports to the sub-province were agricultural products, fish and timber.
Liu Xian Ming, vice president of Guangzhou Light Industry & Trade Group Ltd, whose products are already exported to Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, said it was his first time to the Kingdom, and that he found the meeting very fruitful. He said he expected to find a Cambodian partner to do business with as a result.
Guangzhou is the capital and sub-provincial city of the 10 million-person Guangdong province in southern China.