Chinese and Cambodian leaders on Monday pledged to broaden their economic and trade cooperation and promote bilateral trade volume in 2005.
During a meeting with her Cambodian counterpart Sar Kheng, visiting Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi said in Phnom Penh she hopes the two government will make efforts to boost annual bilateral trade volume to US$500 million in 2005 from US$300 million in 2003.
She said that Chinese government will encourage its enterprises to invest and cooperate in Cambodia's infrastructure, processing industry and resources development.
Wu also pledged that the Chinese government will continue to provide possible assistance to Cambodia to help it develop its rural economy.
At the same time, Wu said that the two countries should strengthen cooperation in negotiation on a China-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) free trade agreement. She said she hopes both sides will make efforts to create a good environment for deepening mutually beneficial cooperation.
Sar Kheng thanked the Chinese government for its support and aid to his country. He said the Cambodian government will do its best to improve its investment environment in order to attract more foreign investors.
The two sides also exchanged views on bilateral relations and other issues of common concern.
Sar Kheng expressed his belief that a package of economic and technical cooperation agreements, to be signed on Tuesday by the two countries, will surely promote bilateral economic and trade relations into a new stage.
Bilateral trade between China and Cambodia yielded a total of more than US$320 million in 2003, up 16.1 percent compared to 2002. China has become one of Cambodia's major countries of foreign investment.
Wu Yi arrived in Cambodia on Friday on a five-day official visit to Cambodia at the invitation of Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng.
(Xinhua News Agency March 23, 2004)