China has stated it will endeavour to increase the volume of products it imports from Cambodia. In a meeting last week with Prime Minister Hun Sen in Phnom Penh, the vice-chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Zhang Chunxian, said Cambodian products have “great potential”.
“China’s market is huge, so I will tell our Minister of Commerce and other Chinese leaders to try to open the Chinese market to more Cambodian products,” Zhang said.
Cambodia now exports bananas, maize, cassava, and milled rice to China, according to figures from the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture. However, there are plans to negotiate the trade of other agricultural products, including mango, longan, durian, dragon fruit, pepper and coconuts.
Ministry of Agriculture Hean Vanhan said that strengthening standards in the industry is a must to expand trade with China. “We must meet sanitary and phytosanitary requirements in order to increase our exports to the Chinese market.”
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said during the meeting with the Chinese official that the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) will expand at a rate of 7.3 percent in 2018 and 2019: “Despite pressure from the European Union, who are threatening to revoke the Everything-but-arms deal, Cambodia will still expand its economy by 7.3 percent this year and the next, which is very high for the region.”
According to an article on khmertimeskh.com, the World Bank recently revised the country’s economic growth upward, estimating it will be 7 percent in 2018. Referring to its East Asia and Pacific report, the World Bank said economic growth in Cambodia is driven mainly by external demand, exports, rising government spending and a positive investor attitude.