HUNDREDS of Cambodian products were well-received at the fifth annual China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO) in Nanning, China, and have helped to promote bilateral trade between the two countries, Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh told the Post Sunday after returning from the Middle Kingdom.
"Some of the Cambodian goods on display will now be exported and sold in China as a result of the exhibition," Cham Prasidh said at Phnom Penh International Airport after returning with Prime Minister Hun Sen and a number of other high-ranking officials who attended the Asia-Europe (ASEM) meeting in Beijing. "China has many plans for investment in Cambodia," he added.
According to Cham Prasidh, local and foreign investment in the first eight months of the year - excluding that committed to Special Economic Zones - totalled US$8.9 billion, compared with last year's figure of $2.7 billion.
"China remains the first country to invest in Cambodia, this year China has invested more than $1 billion," he said.
"The Chinese government is planning to invest in some mega-projects in Cambodia and they are also encouraging Chinese companies to invest as well."
Cham Prasidh also said the ASEM meeting had not been overshadowed by Cambodia's territorial dispute with Thailand.
"I do not think [the dispute] will affect the economic trade between neighbours and it will return to normal soon," he said.
"Both prime ministers met in Beijing to promote cooperation," he added.
The expo, which ended Saturday and was sponsored by China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is the only international trade fair devoted to the China-Asean Free Trade Area (CAFTA).
More than 80 Cambodian companies attended.
Mao Thora, secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, told the Post the expo was key to attracting Chinese investment.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING KAY KIMSONG