Economic, trade and investment ties between Cambodia and Hong Kong are expected to grow soon, as Ministry of Commerce leaders pledge to encourage Hong Kong businesses to invest in the Kingdom, to contribute to the recovery of economic growth during and after the Covid-19 crisis.

Ministry secretary of state Pich Rithy made the comment during a November 2 virtual discussion on “Rebuilding in Post-epidemic Era: Hong Kong-Cambodia Partnership”.

The meeting was also attended by Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah, Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) representatives and about 190 entrepreneurs from the private sector.

Rithy said that under government efforts to control and prevent the spread of Covid-19, especially the “successful” vaccination campaign for Cambodians and foreigners, Cambodia has deployed a series of new policies and strategies for socio-economic recovery, along with efforts to improve the investment and business environment in the Kingdom.

He added that Cambodia will strive to boost trade with Hong Kong, by opening up to investment and broadening business and market access, to strengthen cooperation and to explore opportunities for trade and investment partnerships between the Kingdom and special autonomous region after the Covid-19 crisis.

“Cambodia is committed to strengthening economic, trade and investment relations with Hong Kong by enhancing and facilitating the business world, as well as encouraging the community to invest more in key areas, including technology and innovation, digital economy infrastructure, and public welfare to help the region to achieve inclusive growth,” Rithy said.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng told The Post on November 7 that although trade between the Kingdom and Hong Kong remains low, through good public and private relations, he expects to see a shift in trade soon and marked increases in both directions.

The Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement will also play a major role in boosting the trade volume, as the deal enters into force, he said.

He said the CCC has met with Hong Kong political leaders and prominent businessmen, in the hopes of increasing cooperation and attracting investment to Cambodia. “Through good cooperation in both diplomacy and trade, I think trade between the two economies will increase further soon,” Heng said.

He said Hong Kongers have notably invested in garments, construction and agriculture in the Kingdom.

Cambodian exports to Hong Kong totalled $10.4 million in the first half of this year, up from $5.7 million in January-June 2020, ministry figures show.