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China-Cambodia Relations: An Epitome of New International Relations

Post Time:2022-11-07 17:18:38

On January 1, 2022, the day when Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) entered into force, the China-Cambodia Free Trade Agreement also came into effect. The two agreements deserve to be called an important economic milestone for both sides.

China has remained the biggest trading partner, the largest source of imports and investment, and the top-one provider of assistance of Cambodia.

Cambodia holds a significant position in the Belt and Road cooperation and its Rectangular Strategy is highly consistent with the Belt and Road Initiative of China.

In March 2022, the two countries’ supreme leaders had talks over phone. China’s top leader noted, in face of drastic changes unseen in a hundred years and the once-in-a-century pandemic, China and Cambodia have remained steadfast in building a community with a shared future, presenting to the world an epitome of new international relations. Cambodia’s supreme leader pointed out, rapid growth of the bilateral trade volume and smooth progress of major programs under the BRI have showcased the achievements brought by the two countries’ comprehensive strategic partnership and their co-construction of a community with shared future, which is a clear manifestation of the long-standing friendship between China and Cambodia.

From January to August this year, the bilateral trade volume reached USD $10.82 billion, a year-on-year increase of 26.8%. In the first half of 2022, the Cambodian government approved 98 investment projects with an agreed investment amount of USD $2.99 billion, of which, China emerged as the largest source of foreign investment at $1.29 billion, accounting for 43% of Cambodia’s national total.

Since 2022, the Cambodian government has taken comprehensive measures to drive its economic growth. At the end of September, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) projected Cambodia’s economic growth at 5% and 5.3% respectively for 2022.

In June 2022, China-Cambodia Cooperation Forum, sponsored by China-ASEAN Business Council, RCEP Industry Cooperation Committee and the Embassy of Cambodia in China, was convened in an online-offline hybrid model. Cambodian Ambassador to China H.E. Madam Khek Caimealy Sysoda, Executive President of China-ASEAN Business Council and Chairman of RCEP Industry Cooperation Committee Mr. Xu Ningning, and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia Mr. Wu Guoquan delivered remarks successively at the forum. The event was moderated by Mr. Lyu Kejian, former Director General of the Department of Asian Affairs of MOFCOM and Executive Board Member of China-ASEAN Business Council and RCEP Industry Cooperation Committee.

In the words of Mr. Xu Ningning, China and Cambodia share enduring relations full of cooperation vitality, compatible economic and trade sectors with high complementarity, and increasingly closer people-to-people exchanges in all areas. Twelve years ago, the two countries established a comprehensive strategic cooperation partnership and the “Action Plan 2019-2023 on Building China-Cambodia Community of Shared Future” was signed three years ago. The two countries have entered into a new era of building a community of shared future.

Mr. Xu Ningning puts forward five suggestions to enhance economic and trade cooperation between China and Cambodia:

First, the two countries should make the matchmaking of their development strategies more detailed and practical, and facilitate people-to-people and goods exchanges with enhanced cooperation on pandemic response.

Second, industrial cooperation should be deepened to foster new compatible areas in both economies, develop new supply chains with complementary advantages, and fuel the development of digital economy, green economy and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Third, both sides should scale up investment cooperation and make joint efforts to build industrial parks. More online/offline promotions should be conducted by local governments, industry associations and relevant organizations of both sides to attract capital and invite investment.

Fourth, enterprises should make full use of free trade agreements, including the China-Cambodia Free Trade Agreement, the RCEP agreement and China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, and jointly prize open more markets in the two countries, the region, and even the world. As Cambodia holds the rotating chair of ASEAN this year, enterprises from both countries should take this opportunity to carry out more active actions.

Fifthly, people-to-people exchanges should be strengthened to consolidate the social foundation for the further development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

History of Friendship


In June 2022, Mr. Xu Ningning, Executive President of China-ASEAN Business Council and Chairman of RCEP Industry Cooperation Committee met with H.E. Madam Khek Caimealy Sysoda, Cambodian Ambassador to China. The two sides had talks about facilitating China-Cambodia economic and trade development.

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In 2021, Mr. Park Phannara, Commercial Counsellor of the Embassy of Cambodia in China visited China-ASEAN Business Council and met with Mr. Xu Ningning to talk about enhancing China-Cambodia trade and investment cooperation.

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In 2021, the Official Reception Ceremony of the First Batch of Fresh Mangoes of Cambodia Imported to China, co-sponsored by the Embassy of Cambodia in China and China-ASEAN Business Council, was launched at the SUNHOLA Logistics Park of Farm and Sideline products in Hebei Province’s Xinfadi Market. During the events, Mr. Xu Ningning had talks with H.E. Madam Khek Caimealy Sysoda, Cambodian Ambassador to China.


In 2019, at the Embassy of Cambodia to China, Mr. Xu Ningning met with the then Minister-Counsellor for Commercial Affairs of the Embassy of Cambodia in China and the two sides had discussions on matters such as business opportunities for Chinese enterprises to invest in Cambodia.


In 2011, the Cambodia Investment Presentation Conference, co-sponsored by the Embassy of Cambodia in China and China-ASEAN Business Council was convened in Beijing. Mr. Xu Ningning moderated the conference and H.E. Madam Khek Caimealy Sysoda, Cambodian Ambassador to China delivered remarks. More than one hundred people attended the conference, including leaders of national industry associations, heads of government departments and entrepreneur representatives.


In 2005, Mr. Xu Ningning met and had talks with Mr. Khek Loreng, the then Cambodian Ambassador to China.

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