Vietnam investment takes off in Cambodia

TN News

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Vietnam's biggest commercial bank, Agribank, with assets of US$26 billion, opened its first branch in neighboring Cambodia this week, illustrating the growing economic bonds between the neighbors.

Le Bien Cuong, a commercial counselor at the Vietnamese embassy in Phnom Penh, said bilateral trade was up nearly 40 percent this year and could reach $2 billion.

"We will try to have $2 billion trade between the countries by this year," Le told Reuters in a recent interview.

"We try to have partnership with Cambodia to supply goods for the people of Cambodia," he said.

Underscoring good ties with Vietnam, Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni and his father, former king Norodom Sihanouk this month paid a visit to Vietnam.

Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An hailed ties with Cambodia's "great friend" at this week's bank launch, saying Cambodia would always welcome Vietnamese business.

The value of the bilateral trade between the countries rose 38.6 percent to $717.78 million in the first five months of this year, according to figures from the Vietnamese embassy.

Vietnam's exports to Cambodia increased 37.3 percent to $598 million while Cambodian exports to Vietnam rose 45.2 percent to $119.74 million, according to the figures.

Vietnam's investments in Cambodia are worth $600 million in areas such as electricity, agriculture, telecommunications, banking and health care, according to Le.

He said there was no Cambodian investment in Vietnam.

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