Cambodia's Siem Reap, China's Jiangxi ink cooperation deal

Cambodia's Siem Reap, China's Jiangxi ink cooperation deal

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's cultural Siem Reap province and China's eastern Jiangxi province have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen cooperation in a number of fields, according to a copy of the MoU on Saturday.

The deal was inked on Friday afternoon between Khim Bunsong, governor of Siem Reap province, and Xie Ru, vice-governor of Jiangxi province.

"Under the five-year cooperation deal, both sides will cooperate in agriculture, education, health, culture, trade, and tourism," the MoU says. "A joint working group will be formed to implement the deal."

Leaders and concerned institutions in the two provinces have to maintain good relations in order to facilitate cooperation in these fields, it says.

"The MoU will give opportunities for the two provinces to build cooperation in these sectors, particularly tourism, agriculture, trade and investment," Khim Bunsong said after the signing ceremony. "I believe that the peoples of the two provinces will get benefits from this cooperation."

Xie said the two provinces have similar potentials in tourism and agriculture, pledging to encourage more Chinese tourists and investors to Siem Reap province.

"The deal will contribute to deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Cambodia," she said.

China is the largest investor in Cambodia. According to the Cambodian government's figures, from 1994 to 2012, total Chinese investment in Cambodia reached 9.17 billion U.S. dollars.

On the trade side, Cambodia-China trade was valued at 2.83 billion U. S. dollars in the first nine months of 2013, a 31 percent rise from the same period last year. The two countries have vowed to boost the bilateral trade volume to 5 billion U.S. dollars by 2017.

For tourism, Cambodia greeted 339,890 Chinese tourists in the first nine months of this year, up 45 percent year-on-year, making China the second largest source of tourists to Cambodia.