Cambodia and China are committed to increasing bilateral trade to $10 billion by 2023, from $8 billion last year, according to a senior official at the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce.
The pledge was made at the Second Cambodia-China Think Tank High-Level Forum, held on July 28 in Chinese capital Beijing in a mixed online and in-person format, under the theme Towards New Development Phase of Cambodia-China Bilateral Relations.
Ministry secretary of state Sok Sopheak told the forum that China is an important trading partner of Cambodia, with trade between the two countries exceeding expectations, recording a 16 per cent year-on-year surge in 2017, to $5.8 billion.
By 2020, trade would surpass $8 billion, despite Covid, and is expected to hit the $10 billion milestone by 2023, he said.
“Cambodia-China bilateral trade and investment relations are very important in the context of the global spread of Covid-19, as well as regional and global economic and geopolitical competition,” Sopheak said.
The two countries signed the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) in October, which is expected to enter into force in 2022.
Communist Party of China publicity department head Huang Kunming told the forum that the East Asian country is keen to work with the Kingdom to enrich strategic ties, advance the battle against Covid-19, and bolster economic and trade cooperative efforts, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
He said Beijing would continue to defend multilateralism, consolidate the traditional friendship between the two countries, and promote the further development of the Sino-Cambodian community for a common future.
Trade between the two countries was valued at $3.9 billion in the first five months of this year, up by 25 per cent year-on-year, according to the state-run Global Times newspaper.
According to the ministry, the two-way trade exchange amounted to $8.11807 billion in 2020, falling by 5.2 per cent from 2019. Of that, the Kingdom’s exports were to the tune of $1.08626 billion, up by 8.11 per cent, as imports reached $7.03181 billion, down by 6.97 per cent.