Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh is visiting Cambodia to strengthen bilateral ties ahead of the regional bloc summit as Prime Minister Hun Sen urged more investment from Hanoi into the country after a dearth in 2021 and 2022.
In an official Facebook post on Tuesday, Hun Sen said that the two counties had seen a 34 percent increase of bilateral trade from January to July 2022, compared to the same period last year.
Cambodia also saw a 1.3 percent increase in Vietnamese investments from January to October 2022, compared to the same period last year.
“But we did not see any new Vietnamese investment projects in Cambodia this year and in 2021, unlike before the Covid-19 crisis, in which Vietnamese investors have invested heavily in Cambodia, especially in agriculture and telecommunications,” the Facebook post said.
“In this regard, Samdech encourages Vietnamese investors to invest more in doing business in Cambodia, especially in areas with high potential in Cambodia, such as modern agriculture, food processing industry and light manufacturing industry,” the post added.
The Facebook post also said that from January to September, Vietnamese tourists ranked second, with a total of more than 280,000 people. This is more than a three-fold increase compared with the same period in 2021.
Hun Sen also congratulated Vietnam for successfully attracting foreign investment into its electronics sector, such as Samsung and FOXCONN, which manufactures a range of products for Apple, including high-tech smartwatches.
The post added that Cambodia intends to link the automotive and electronics production chains by developing a country-plus strategy, especially with Vietnam, which is the first choice of foreign investors in both sectors to relocate production.
“In this regard, Samdech hopes that Cambodia will receive investment projects to support the supply of production lines in both sectors, especially electronics for Vietnam,” the Facebook post said.
A Cambodia-Vietnam border trade agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding on increasing the number of quotas, types and quantities of commercial vehicles and the construction of the Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway, which will begin construction soon, will help enhance the growth of bilateral trade.
Vietnamese media, Vietnam Plus, reported that Hanoi has so far invested more than $2.93 billion in Cambodia, becoming the top ASEAN investor and one of the five biggest foreign investors in the country.
Vietnam Plus added, citing Prime Minister Chinh, that Cambodia now has 28 projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of $70.12 million.
Bilateral trade was $9.54 billion in 2021, up 79.1 percent year-on-year, Vietnam Plus said, adding that the figure went up 16.7 percent year-on-year to $8.45 billion in the first nine months of 2022 and is likely to surpass $10 billion this year.
Chinh also urged continued attention to be paid to tackling difficulties faced by Vietnamese enterprises in Cambodia. He did not elaborate on what the difficulties are.
The 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit and related meetings are being held at Sokha Hotel until November 13.