Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
Phnom Penh (VNA) – Cambodia’s Nokorwat News Daily on June 14 carried a story on its front page saying there is plenty of room for Vietnam and Cambodia to develop their economic ties.

The article highlighted the increasingly growing economic relations between the two countries over the past year, illustrated by the inauguration of the Angkor milk plant by Vinamilk – Vietnam’s largest dairy company, the launch of the eighth branch of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) in Cambodia, and the construction of a rubber latex processing plant by the Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG) in Cambodia’s Kampong Thom.

The official establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of 2015 offers brilliant opportunities for the two sides’ businesses to expand markets and boost exports, the newspaper said.

Sharing a border of over 1,000 km as well as social-cultural similarities, Vietnam and Cambodia are aiming to raise two-way trade to 5 billon USD per year in the coming years, it said, noting that bilateral trade expanded from around 130-150 million USD per year between 1997 and 1999 to nearly 3.4 billion USD per annum over the past three years.

Economists have commented that the future target of 5 billion USD is completely achievable.

Vietnam is currently Cambodia’s third biggest trade partner, the newspaper said, adding that Vietnam is leading country in the number of tourist arrivals to Cambodia in recent years, as well as the primary destination of Cambodian tourists.

The article quoted Minister -Counsellor Nguyen Bao, head of Vietnam’s Trade Office in Cambodia, as saying that as of May 2016, Vietnamese businesses ran 183 projects worth 2.85 billion USD in Cambodia.

Vietnam continues to be one of the five major investors in Cambodia , especially in the fields of agriculture, forestry, energy, finance, banking, insurance and telecommunications.

Apart from trade, finance, and production of consumer products, agriculture cooperation is considered to be the most consolidated.

At the inaugural ceremony of the VRG’s rubber latex processing plant in Cambodia in August 2015, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat reiterated the Vietnamese Government’s consistent policy of reinforcing and developing comprehensive cooperation with Cambodia across the board, including agriculture.

Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Yem Chhay Ly said the rubber planting projects of Vietnamese businesses in Cambodia have helped propel economic development and infrastructure and reduce poverty in the country.

The article quoted economists as saying that to fully exploit the potential of their investment cooperation, the two countries’ competent agencies should do more to simplify business procedures.-VNA