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Slovakian delegation on the way

A SLOVAKIAN business delegation is scheduled to travel to Cambodia this week to coincide with the first state visit of President Ivan Gasparovic.

Gasparovic's four-day trip, thought to be the first visit to the Kingdom by a Slovakian premiere, is due to begin today.

Tomorrow, about 15 Slovakians, lead by their finance minister, Juraj Miskov, will meet with more than 120 Cambodian business representatives to discuss trade and investment opportunities across the Kingdom.

The Cambodian representatives will include Commerce minister Cham Prasidh, a delegation from the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, and members of the business community.

Keo Nimet, international relations manager of CCC, said the two sides would mainly exchange ideas.

“In fact, our trade levels with Slovakia are very low. We are just beginning to build our trade relations,” said Keo Nimet.

“We plan to introduce [them] to the agricultural, tourism, industry and services sectors,” Keo Nimet said.

“Significantly, we want them to take a look at agricultural investment because the sector has a lot of potential.”

In the latest available figures from the Ministry of Commerce, bilateral trade between Cambodia and Slovakia rose about 52 percent in 2008 to US$2.25 million from $1.482 million in 2007.

Slovakia is located in central Europe and has a population of more than 5 million.

It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west.

Cambodia has had diplomatic relations with the country since 1997, after Slovakia and the Czech Republic separated in 1993.

India's President, Pratibha Patil, is due to visit the Kingdom later this month. A free-trade pact between the nations is anticipated.

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