Cambodia and India are committed to strengthening cooperation in tourism and agriculture with the provincial administration of Kep, a coastal area with untapped tourism potential.
The commitment was made during a bilateral meeting between Kep provincial governor Som Piseth and Indian ambassador to Cambodia Devyani Khobragade last week at Kep Provincial Hall.
Khobragade said deliberations during the meeting will further strengthen ties with the coastal province, adding that the governor agreed to work together to improve and expand cooperation in tourism, agriculture and capacity building to maximise economic opportunities.
“The two sides also discussed ways to build a sister province relationship,” she added.
Piseth mentioned that the Indian side had come to explore the potential of the province and look into feasible tourism, agriculture and education-based development projects.
At the same time, the provincial governor also highlighted primary areas of potential partnership and outlined the vision that the administration has set for development of the province down the line.
He said the Indian side vowed to “accept any project” for which the administration requests support.
Piseth hopes Khobragade “will review all projects submitted by the province to review and support, especially the developments in the three aforementioned areas”.
The Royal Government recently greenlit plans to develop a stretch of mudflats on the Chhak Kep cove into a 2,700m-long high-end public beach to attract more holidaymakers to the province.
Expected to be implemented soon, the project is planned to extend from the vibrant Kep Crab Market to a mangrove forest located in Prey Thom commune’s Thmey village in western Kep.
Provincial Department of Tourism director Som Chenda welcomed the government’s decision to develop and spruce up the coastal area and improve the tourism potential of the southwestern province.
He said he was unaware of a timeline for the project, noting that all decisions would be made at the national level.
Still, he voiced optimism for the potential windfall this undertaking could end up being for the provincial economy. “I believe that the development of this coastal area will attract more tourists to visit this province.”
Chenda pointed out that Kep province has only beach, with a length of 350m, 12 islands and one reef, and boasts tonnes of potential.
The Cambodian Ministry of Commerce reported that bilateral trade between Cambodia and India in 2020 was to the tune of $190.13 million, down by 25.81 per cent compared to 2019. Of that, exports from Cambodia were valued at $61.36 million, declining by 5.12 per cent, and imports were worth $128.77 million, plunging by 32.79 per cent.