China’s investment in Cambodia rose sharply in 2021 hinh anh 1Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen and visiting Chinese State Council and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attend the signing ceremony of a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on October 12, 2020. (Photo: XINHUA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Chinese investment in Cambodia increased remarkably last year, despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which reflected Chinese investors’ trust in the country’s business environment.

According to a report from the Council for the Development of Cambodia, the country attracted fixed-asset investment of 2.32 billion USD from China last year, up 67 percent from 1.39 billion USD in the year before.

China remained the biggest foreign investor in the Southeast Asian nation, accounting for 53.4 percent of its total investment last year, the report said, adding China's investment in Cambodia focuses on the fields of real estate, garment, footwear, tourism and agriculture, among others.

Heng Sokkung, Secretary of State and Spokesman for the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation, said close ties, the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal are the main factors encouraging more Chinese investors to Cambodia. Both the CCFTA and the 15-member RCEP trade deal took effect on January 1 this year.

Lim Heng, Vice President of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, said the above-mentioned free trade deals would provide greater market access for Cambodian products to China and other RCEP member countries.

Hong Vannak, an economic researcher at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said besides these free trade pacts, Cambodia has received trade preferences from some countries, which are also a favourable factor for foreign investors to base their production lines here.

Statistics from the Ministry of Commerce showed that the trade volume between Cambodia and China was valued at nearly 11.2 billion USD in 2021, an increase of 38 percent against 2020’s figure.

The Cambodian Ministry of Commerce's Undersecretary of State and Spokesman Penn Sovicheat said China is a huge market for Cambodia, particularly for potential agricultural products such as rice, bananas and mangoes./.