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Monday, February 20, 2012

Cambodia, China willing to further enhance cooperation in all fields: officials

PHNOM PENH, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia and China are willing to further promote bilateral cooperation in all fields in the framework of ASEAN-China relations, officials said Monday.

The commitment was made during the official visit of Ma Mingqiang, secretary general of ASEAN-China Center, to Cambodia.

In a meeting with Cambodia's Minister of Tourism Thong Khon, Ma Mingqiang said this was his official visit to Cambodia since the ASEAN-China Center was launched on Nov.18,2011.

"The visit aims at promoting ASEAN-China cooperation in trade, investment, tourism, education, and culture," he said.
Meanwhile, Thong Khon said Cambodia saw China as a big source of visitors to Cambodia in the near future.

He added that last year, Cambodia received 247,000 Chinese tourists, up 39.2 percent, making Chinese tourists the third largest arrival groups to Cambodia.

"Based on the trend, the country expects to see about 600,000 Chinese visitors here in 2015 and up to 1 million in 2020," said the minister. "To achieve this goal, we have been strengthening our tourism product quality and services, and encouraging hotels, restaurants and resorts to use Chinese language in order to meet the needs of Chinese tourists."

Cambodia and China signed tourism cooperation on Feb. 9, 1999, he said.

On Monday, Ma had also met with Pich Rithi, director general of the commerce ministry's general directorate of domestic trade, and both sides had affirmed the necessity to boost bilateral trade and investment cooperation for mutual interests.

Pich Rithi said Cambodia saw China as the largest market for Cambodian agricultural products, especially rice and cassava, so that he asked Ma to help attract Chinese businesspeople and investors to do business in the fields in order to increase Cambodia's exports to China.

Ma said that through the ASEAN-China Center, he would try to promote Cambodia's investment potentials to Chinese investors and the world.

Also, on the day, Ma had met with Chea Sienghong, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, and Soeung Rathchavy, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Ma and his delegation arrived here on Feb. 19 for a 3-day visit. They will leave Cambodia for Vietnam on Tuesday.

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