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Cambodia, Vietnam to Boost Economic Relations

Vietnam and Cambodia will create a special economic zone to enhance bilateral trade and relations, the Vietnamese president said Wednesday.

Vietnam President Nguyen Minh Triet spoke from a Cambodia-Vietnam trade forum on the second day of a three-day visit, his first official trip to the country, which came at the invitation of King Norodom Sihamoni.

In 1996, Vietnam permitted Cambodia to export more than 40 agricultural products without tariffs. In 2006, Vietnam exported an estimated $780 million in goods to Cambodia while only importing $170 million worth. Bilateral trade between the two is expected to reach $2 billion dollars by 2010.

The joint venture will bring more economic stability and prosperity to Cambodians, Prime Minister Hun Sen said.

Seng Theary, director of the Center for Social Development, and Kong Chandararoth, an analyst at the Faculty of Business and Economics, both cautioned the Cambodian government about future exports to Vietnam, saying that Cambodia’s legal system is still weak.