China’s investment has tremendously helped Cambodia in its infrastructure development. Now China has invited other countries to participate and compete in the Cambodian Market on fairgrounds. The comment came as Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen is in China for a four-day visit starting from Sunday.
Guo Jiguang, an expert on Southeast Asia affairs at the National Institute of International Strategy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said that the visit is intended to improve trade diversification and strengthen political mutual trust between China and Cambodia based on close bilateral relations.
According to the Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian; Infrastructure, trade, investment, and agriculture are the main four areas where the two countries are seeking to expand cooperation opportunities.
Bilateral trade reached $4.69 billion from January to August 2018, up 23.8 percent year-on-year, China’s Ministry of Commerce said. Infrastructure remains the priority for Cambodia, and China has rich experience in developing infrastructures based on its Belt and Road initia¬tive (BRI), said Guo.
According to the Economic and Commercial Counsellor’s Office of the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia, 80 percent of the electricity in Cambodia comes from Chinese-backed hydroelectric or thermal power projects as of May 2017.
At the end of last year, Cambodia’s largest hydropower project started electricity generation in the northeastern province of Stung Treng, Cambodia. China’s Huaneng Hydrolancang International Energy holds a 51 percent stake in the joint venture, with the rest held by Cambodia’s Royal Group and Vietnam’s EVN International.
Regarding concerns about China’s presence in Cambodia via the BRI, Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said other countries could either compete or cooperate with Chinese companies together in Cambodia based on fair terms. Further, she said that “Chinese companies are competitive in terms of project quality and price… but other countries could compete with Chinese companies in Cambodia’s market based on fair and reasonable terms. They could also cooperate with Chinese companies to help Cambodia so they could play to their advantages”.
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