Published: 14:59, January 23, 2024 | Updated: 15:02, January 23, 2024
Diplomat: China, Cambodia enjoyed fruitful trade ties in '23
By Xinhua

In this file photo dated May 22, 2023, Cambodian and Chinese officials visit an exhibition of projects under the Belt and Road Initiative at the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

PHNOM PENH - China-Cambodia economic and trade cooperation achieved fruitful results in 2023, thanks to the strategic guidance set out by the leaders of the two countries, a Chinese diplomat said on Monday.

Zhong Jie, counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia, said China and Cambodia, close neighbors with an iron-clad friendship, have stood the test of time and were brimming with vitality.

"During the year (2023), the two countries had frequent high-level exchanges, charting the course for the future development of the bilateral relations," Zhong wrote in an article sent to Xinhua.

She recalled that when Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet visited China last September, the two sides agreed to deepen strategic synergy between China's Belt and Road Initiative and Cambodia's Pentagonal Strategy and focus on the "Diamond Hexagon" cooperation framework.

"Under the strategic guidance of the leaders of the two countries, China-Cambodia economic and trade cooperation had been further upgraded with fruitful results in 2023," Zhong said.

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The envoy said that, with the dividends of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement and the China-Cambodia Free Trade Agreement unleashed, China has remained Cambodia's largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years.

This file photo taken on May 21, 2023 shows the entrance of the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

Landmark BRI projects such as the Sihanoukville Special Economy Zone, the Siem Reap Angkor International Airport, the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, and hydropower plants have greatly contributed to Cambodia's socioeconomic development and poverty alleviation, she said.

The SSEZ has attracted enterprises from China, Europe, the United States, Southeast Asia and other countries and regions, creating about 30,000 jobs for local people, Zhong said.

Zhong noted that 2024 is the opening year for the implementation of the action plan on building a China-Cambodia community with a shared future in the new era, as well as the China-Cambodia Year of People-to-People Exchanges.

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With joint efforts, the China-Cambodia "Diamond Hexagon" cooperation framework will continue to be strengthened, and new impetus will be injected into the China-Cambodia community with a shared future in the new era, thus bringing more benefits to the two countries and peoples, Zhong said.