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China-ASEAN Expo vital to boost economic, trade ties: Cambodia


16:29, June 14, 2013

PHNOM PENH, June 14 (Xinhua) -- The annual China-ASEAN Expo is a very important platform to further promote economic and trade ties between China and the ten ASEAN countries, Cambodian Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh said Friday.

The China-ASEAN Expo was initiated by former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the 7th ASEAN-China Summit and firstly held in 2004 in permanent venue of Nanning, capital of southwest Chinese province of Guangxi.

The 10th China-ASEAN Expo will be staged on September 23-26, 2013.

"The expo is an international significant event to boost the development of ASEAN-China Free Trade Area," Cham Prasidh said at the China-ASEAN Expo roundtable meeting in Phnom Penh. "It is a platform to share opportunities for cooperation, development and principles of mutual benefits."

He said such expo has helped promote trade in goods and services, investment cooperation, culture and tourism, particularly contributing to strengthening and developing the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership.

"The China-ASEAN Expo has become one of China's 10 most influential expos," the minister said. "It opens a new opportunity for businesspeople from various countries to seek joint development."

Usually, during the expo there is an ASEAN-China forum, which is a key platform for leaders of China and ASEAN to exchange opinions on cooperation.

Peng Qinghua, Secretary of the Communist Party of China committee in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, lauded Cambodia for actively participating in the China-ASEAN Expo.

"Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia has attended the annual event for six times," he told the roundtable meeting.

He said the expo helps promote trade and investment ties between China and Cambodia in particular and between China and ASEAN in general.

During a meeting with Hun Sen on Thursday at the Peace Palace, Peng invited the premier to the 10th China-ASEAN Expo on the special occasion of the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Cambodia and the "China- Cambodia Friendship Year".

China is Cambodia's largest donor and investor. From 1994 to 2012, Chinese investment in Cambodia totaled 9.17 billion U.S. dollars. China is one of Cambodia's leading trading partners. Last year, the bilateral trade stood at 2.9 billion U.S. dollars.

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