PHNOM PENH, July 3 (Xinhua) -- A business forum jointly held by Cambodia and China's Dezhou city, was held here on Monday, aiming at further promoting trade and investment relations between Cambodia and China, officials said.
The forum brought together business executives from 51 enterprises from Dezhou city in eastern China's Shandong province and some 100 Cambodian businesspeople.
Dezhou Mayor Chen Fei said the visiting Chinese entrepreneurs are specialized in solar-powered automobile manufacturing, construction and real estate, agriculture, tourism, food manufacturing, and environmental protection.
"The forum is crucial for business executives of the two countries to explore opportunities for economic, trade, and investment cooperation," he said during an opening speech.
"I believe that through the forum, there will be more Chinese enterprises coming to Cambodia."
He said the forum was part of the joint effort by Chinese and Cambodian business people to promote bilateral trade and investment cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.
Chen said Dezhou city was encouraging major enterprises in Dezhou to invest in Cambodia and other ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states under the Belt and Road Initiative.
Xu Ningning, executive president of China-ASEAN Business Council, said the two countries expected the bilateral trade volume would top 5 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 and further rise to 6 billion dollars in 2020.
"Excellent relationship between the governments of China and Cambodia has created a favorable opportunity for investors of the two countries to do businesses together," he said.
Xu said under the Belt and Road Initiative, he is confident that the cooperation between China and Cambodia in economic, trade, investment, tourism and culture would be further enhanced.
Chhuon Dara, secretary of state of the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce, said Cambodia was an open economy and treated all investors equally.
"Cambodia always keeps the door open for Chinese investors and tourists," he said, adding that investment from China had greatly contributed to Cambodia's economic development and poverty reduction.
He said foreign investors can own 100 percent of their investment in Cambodia in all fields, except the purchase of land that requires foreign investors to possess only 49 percent of the investment, as 51 percent must be held by a Cambodian partner.
Besides, Dara said products made in Cambodia would be able to be exported to many developed countries, especially European countries, with duty-free and quota-free because Cambodia is one of the Least Developed Countries.
Pung Kheav Se, president of the Association of Khmer-Chinese in Cambodia, said China is the largest trading partner and investor of Cambodia. He said the two countries still have huge room for growth in trade, investment, finance, industries, agriculture and tourism.