Phnom Penh, The Gulf Observer: Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his Cambodian counterpart Samdech Techo Hun Sen attended the Vietnam-Cambodia trade and investment promotion forum in Phnom Penh on November 8.
The event was co-hosted by the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, the Council for Development of Cambodia, and the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce.
At the forum, participating businesses expressed their trust in the future of the two countries as well as their trade and investment incentives.They hoped the two countries’ ministries and agencies would create more favourable conditions and promote investment and trade, especially in the fields of agriculture and agricultural product processing, construction, infrastructure, tourism, trade services, and border trade.
Leaders of ministries and agencies answered questions raised by participants, and introduced projects as well as potential and strengths of each country.
Speaking at the event, PM Chinh said Vietnam has so far invested over US$2.93 billion in Cambodia, becoming the top ASEAN investor and one of the five biggest foreign investors in the country. Meanwhile, Cambodia now has 28 projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of $70.12 million.
Vietnam is now one of the three biggest trade partners of Cambodia, with two-way trade hitting $9.54 billion in 2021, up 79.1 per cent year-on-year. The figure went up 16.7 per cent year on year to $8.45 billion in the first nine months of 2022 and is likely to surpass $10 billion this year. Having highly evaluated Cambodia’s improving business environment, PM Chính expected that continued attention will be paid to tackling difficulties faced by Vietnamese enterprises there.
He said after over 35 years of renewal, Vietnam had recorded important achievements and its economy was now worth over $360 billion with an income per capita of more than $3,700 in 2021. The country’s foreign trade currently reached $670 billion, ranking among the world’s top 20 economies in terms of international trade. Vietnam already signed 15 free trade agreements with over 60 countries and territories worldwide, including the world’s largest markets.
“Vietnam pursues a foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation of ties; being a good friend, a reliable partner and a responsible member of the international community; determined to build an independent and self-reliant economy that is able to withstand external fluctuations and actively integrate into the international community in a practical and effective manner; and taking internal strength as a basic, long-term and decisive factor, and external force as an important breakthrough,” he said.
The Vietnamese leader suggested enhancing connectivity and complementarity between the two economies, focusing on institutions, finance, transport infrastructure, electricity, telecommunications and tourism.
He proposed the two countries’ concerned agencies and businesses regularly share experience and support each other in formulating policies to maintain macroeconomic stability, improve the business environment and attract quality foreign investment.
PM Chinh called for continuing to promote and bring into play the effectiveness of the Vietnam-Cambodia Joint Committee; speed up the implementation of the signed agreements and the Framework Agreement on connecting the two economies till 2030, as well as completion of the project on building a master plan to connect the two economies.The PM asked Vietnamese and Cambodian investors and enterprises to pool resources and hasten projects to ensure their schedule and quality in line with regulations.
In the spirit of “harmonising interests, sharing risks”, PM Chinh affirmed that Vietnam always offers all possible support to the two countries’ enterprises to do business effectively.
He believed that the ties between Vietnam and Cambodia will advance to a new height for prosperity of each country and benefit of the two nations’ people.
Cambodian PM Hun Sen, for his part, said Cambodia had upgraded infrastructure and improved its business environment and it had been chosen by many Vietnamese firms, especially those operating in agriculture and telecoms.
Cambodia encouraged and created favourable conditions for enterprises to invest more in the country, particularly in agriculture, processing industry and light industry, he said.
The Cambodian Government issued mechanisms and policies to make Cambodia more attractive to investors and encouraged them to connect with Cambodian partners to join the global supply chains, the PM said.
The Cambodian leader informed that he had discussed with PM Chinh the possibility of investing in transport routes, especially an expressway linking Phnom Penh with Vietnam to facilitate trade, tourism, construction and southern economic corridor.On this occasion, Vietnam’s THACO Agriculture Company presented the token of 150 ambulances to the Cambodian Red Cross.
Earlier, the two leaders attended an exhibition of photos featuring the two countries, people and their fine neighbourliness, traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation. The event was co-organised by the Vietnam News Agency and the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment.