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Vietnam to boost trade with Kingdom

THE VIETNAMESE government has agreed to build a business centre in the heart of Phnom Penh to further encourage trade and investment with Cambodia, as the two nations aim to hit a US$2 billion bilateral trade target this year, officials told the Post yesterday.

Trade facilitation and business cooperation will form the focus of the capital’s new centre, set to boost relations with what was Cambodia’s second-biggest importer last year.

The director of the Investment and Trade Promotion Center (ITPC) in Ho Chi Minh City, Tu Minh Thien, said yesterday: “Everything is in progress. The [governments] have approved the scheme and are letting the private sector enter a bidding process.”

Le Bien Cuong, commercial counsellor at the Vietnamese embassy in Phnom Penh, said yesterday that construction is set to commence next year.

Both China and Thailand already have business centres in Cambodia, Cuoung said, but “when Vietnam comes it will give more choice of products for Cambodian people to buy”.

Mao Thora, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, said he believed the establishment of the centre would boost bilateral trade and investment between the countries.

“It will make it easier to distribute goods in our country. It will be easier to understand our demands and to supply the right goods – that’s good for our economy,” he said.

On completion of the centre, a small school will be opened there to foster intercultural communication skills, Tu Minh Thien said.

According to Vietnamese embassy statistics, trade between Vietnam and Cambodia rose by 38.6 percent in the first five months of this year – to $718 million from $518 million in the same period of 2009.

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