Vietnam, Cambodia Eyeing US$5 Billion Trade Value


At the invitation of His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong led a high-level delegation to visit the Kingdom of Cambodia from July 20 to 22, 2017. The visit marked a historic milestone as it took place on exactly the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, opening a new stage for a new, better and more reliable bilateral relationship.

Economic cooperation is a bright spot in Vietnam-Cambodia relationship. According to statistics, the two-way trade value was only US$130-150 million a year from 1997 to 1999. The value climbed 30-40 per cent a year in the 2005 – 2009 period and 18.5 per cent in the 2010 – 2015 phase. The bilateral trade turnover totalled US$3 billion in 2016 and reached US$1.686 billion in the first five months of 2017. At the 15th Meeting of the Vietnam-Cambodia Joint Commission held in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) in March, the two countries agreed to increase bilateral trade value to US$5 billion in the coming time.

Vietnam’s key exports to Cambodia include garments and textiles, petroleum products, building materials, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs and consumer goods. Meanwhile, Vietnam imports agricultural products, rubber, raw materials for garment, textile and leather production, timber and gold from Cambodia.

In investment, Vietnam is the fifth largest investor among 50 countries and territories investing in Cambodia, with 183 projects with a total registered capital of US$2.86 billion. Vietnamese investors mainly invest in agriculture, forestry, rubber (accounting for 70 per cent of their registered capital), finance and banking (9.4 per cent), and telecommunication (7.5 per cent). Investment and business activities of Vietnamese companies in Cambodia are highly appreciated by Cambodian authorities and people for their positive contributions to the prosperity and development of Cambodia.

Cambodia’s investment in Vietnam has also picked up. Cambodian investors now have 18 projects with US$58.15 million in Vietnam.

At present, the two countries are working to complete legal procedures for early signing of necessary trade and investment agreements; and further strengthen the close cooperation in investment promotion and State management over Vietnamese companies in Cambodia. The two also always update information on investment projects; timely handle, effectively support investors and strengthen cooperation and coordination of Vietnamese enterprises in Cambodia. Vietnam’s investment in Cambodia is expected to reach US$6 billion by 2020.

In tourism, in the 2009 – 2017 period, Vietnam has always taken the lead in foreign tourist arrivals to Cambodia. In 2016, up to 960,000 Vietnamese people arrived in Cambodia, accounting for 19 per cent of total international arrivals in the nation. Cambodian visitors to Vietnam totalled 212,000 visitors, ranked 13th among Vietnam’s tourist markets.

Cooperation in training, culture, healthcare, telecommunications, people-to-people exchange and other fields has also progressed. People’s diplomacy has also been consolidated by both nations. Typical activities by Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Association and Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Association have helped boost mutual understanding of the peoples. Localities in the two countries have also established close relationships, especially border-sharing provinces.

The two countries have also cooperated and supported each other at regional and international forums and strengthened cooperation ties with other countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), Cambodia – Laos – Myanmar – Vietnam (CLMV) bloc, the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy, the ASEAN Community, the Asia-Europe Cooperation Forum (ASEM) and the United Nations.

Half a century is a very special moment in Vietnam-Cambodia relationship. Given fine cooperation traditions, deepened by high-ranking official visits and local cooperation programmes, the two nations expect to strengthen comprehensive cooperation in all aspects like economy, trade, investment, culture, society, tourism, security and defence.


Quynh Chi



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