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Sichuan Trade Mission Due Next Week

A Chinese delegation from the province of Sichuan will travel to Cambodia for the first time next week in search of investment options, on the heals of deepening ties between the two countries.

The delegation, led by Sun Yuan, president of the Sichuan Chamber of Commerce, will meet with National Assembly President Heng Samrin, lawmakers and trade officials.

The five-day visit is a fact-finding mission for Sichuan business leaders, who hope to build ties, especially in the trade of commercial goods, said Korm Kosal, Heng Samrin’s cabinet chief.

Nguon Meng Tech, secretary-general of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce, said Cambodia has no Sichuan companies. However, he said, he hopes to convince investors on the visit to build agricultural businesses, expand tourism and bring construction and mining companies.

“If we receive investment from Sichuan, it will help push our economic growth through investment and trade exchange,” he said.

The visit comes follows an announcement last week that Cambodia will expand consular services to six cities in China and a $1.2 billion development pledge from Beijing in December 2009.

In October 2009, Prime Minister Hun Sen took more than 100 Cambodian companies to Sichuan province in an effort to woo investment.

Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker Cheam Yiep said Heng Samrin will explain to the delegation the investor-friendly laws of Cambodia, which include tax incentives, land concessions, zero import duties for construction materials and zero export tariffs on some products.

Economist Kong Chandararoth said the visit marked a “new step” in Chinese-Cambodian investment.

“Cambodia will be able to strengthen its economic growth if Sichuan comes to invest,” he said.