Sun Chanthol, first vice-president of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), said the close friendship between Cambodia and China is bringing more investment to the Kingdom, with the world’s second-largest economy now the top source of foreign investment in the Kingdom.

Chanthol met with Wang Luming, head of the Chinese People’s Congress for Qingdao City, Shandong province, on January 6, during his January 5-8 mission to attract more Chinese investment.

“The close and strong relationship between Cambodia and China has brought cooperation and investment and it is a fact that China is the biggest investor in Cambodia,” Chanthol explained via social media on January 7.

He said that to ensure Cambodia achieves its goal of earning high-income status by 2050, it will require active participation from the private sector. The CDC is playing a crucial role by attracting and facilitating the work of investors, ensuring positive progress in their operations in the Kingdom.

Chanthol highlighted the commitment between Prime Minister Hun Manet and Chinese President Xi Jinping to make 2024 the year of “people-to-people exchanges” to push up Chinese visitors to Cambodia.

Wang presented the economic potential of Qingdao to Chanthol, including its busy passenger and container ports, its vibrant economic and industrial activities, as well as its outstanding research and development facilities.

He also expressed his intent to promote investment and cooperation between Qingdao and Cambodia, ensuring closer ties and creating more job opportunities for Cambodians, according to Chanthol’s post.

Chey Tech, an independent socio-economic analyst, noted that the relationship between the two countries is both historical and traditional. Both nations have upgraded their ties beyond a comprehensive strategic partnership and advancing their “diamond cooperation” framework. Therefore, China could not be ignored when economic relations are the subject of any discussion.

Citing data from the CDC, Tech said that in 2023, Chinese investment in Cambodia increased to more 60 per cent, the highest figure of any one foreign nation. Chinese loans and assistance also accounted for a big chunk.

“China is the main export destination of Cambodian products, following the US and EU. Cambodia exports to China through open and preferential tariffs, including on agricultural products like mangoes, bananas and Pailin longan,” he said.