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Vietnam President Expected for Official Visit

Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet is scheduled to make a three-day trip to Cambodia beginning Thursday to promote increasing trade between the two countries, officials said Tuesday.

“The progress of investment, trade and tourism is greatly increasing,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said. “This state visit also promotes the other sectors. When we speak of the bilateral friendship and cooperation between the two countries, we have to focus on all fields.”

Nguyen is expected to meet with King Norodom Sihamoni at the Royal Palace and hold talks with Prime Minister Hun Sen, National Assembly President Heng Samrin and Senate President Chea Sim.

“The purpose of this visit is to promote the relationship between the two countries and promote trade and investment of the two countries,” Ngo Thi Hoa, deputy chief of mission for the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh, told VOA Khmer. “We want the government open for the Vietnamese investors to do business in Cambodia.”

Trade between the two countries has increased steadily over the past 10 years, from $146 million in 2001 to more than $1 billion in 2009. Trade for the first half of 2010 alone was $862 million, with Vietnamese exports accounting for about $728 million. Those export figures were a 34 percent rise from the same period last year, according to government figures.

Vietnamese investment here was $150 million for the first seven months of the year, in sectors ranging from telecommunications, banking and finance, air transport, agriculture, light industry, rubber, mining, energy and healthcare, according to the Council for the Development of Cambodia.

Nguyen will also attend the opening of a representative office for the Voice of Vietnam radio.