Experts: Strong Cambodia-China Ties Drive Investment Surge

PHNOM PENH: Cambodia has seen a significant rise in Chinese investment, with China becoming the top investor in the country for May 2024. This trend aligns with the growing political and economic ties between the two nations.

Experts point to the strong relationship between Cambodia and China as a key factor. Keo Piseth, a social observer and political science Ph.D. candidate, highlights the “steel friend” partnership and Cambodia's strategic location in Southeast Asia as attractive to Chinese investors. Additionally, the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) is seen as a significant boost.

“Through good relations between China and Cambodia, China has acted as a contributor, an essential element in driving Cambodia's economic growth,” said Piseth. He views this assistance from a friendly nation positively.

China is also Cambodia's leading trade partner, with a volume exceeding $12 billion in 2023. However, Piseth raises a concern about the trade balance, with Cambodia exporting significantly less than it imports from China. He hopes China will help Cambodia increase its exports.

Economist Dr. Ky Sereyvath, President of the Chinese Studies Institute of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, emphasizes the “diamond-hexagon” cooperation model, signifying collaboration in six key areas. This partnership, he believes, has created jobs in and tourism, contributing to Cambodia's economic growth.

The Council for the Development of Cambodia () confirmed that Chinese investment accounted for nearly 50% of the total capital in May 2024. This investment, along with domestic investment, has created over 15,000 jobs through new and expanded projects.

Cambodia's economic landscape is increasingly shaped by Chinese investment. With strong political ties and trade partnerships, this trend is likely to continue. However, experts highlight the need to address the trade imbalance and ensure long-term benefits for both nations. (CAMCCJA)

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