KRATIE, Cambodia, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said on Wednesday that Chinese investors and tourists had importantly contributed to social and economic development in Cambodia.
"Some 1.2 million Chinese tourists (to Cambodia in 2017) had brought a large amount of money from China to Cambodia," he said in a speech during the inauguration ceremony of the China-funded University of Kratie here.
"Besides the Chinese tourists, a lot of Chinese companies have been investing in Cambodia and developing infrastructure in Cambodia," he said, pointing out to Chinese mega-projects in real estate, roads and bridges.
Meanwhile, the prime minister defended the presence of Chinese skilled workers in Cambodia, saying that they worked here because Cambodia had not had enough skilled workers to meet the needs of those mega-projects.
China is the largest source of both foreign direct investment and tourists to Cambodia.
According to a report by the Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Southeast Asian nation had received the fixed asset investment of 12.6 billion U.S. dollars from China from 1994 to 2017. The figure did not include their investments in banking, finance and telecommunications.
On the tourism side, Cambodia attracted over 1.2 million Chinese tourists in 2017, and was expected to receive up to 1.7 million in 2018 and 2.5 million in 2020, according to the Ministry of Tourism.