Thursday, January 08, 2015

Cambodia and Vietnam commit to boost trade, improve bilateral relations

PHNOM PENH, Jan. 6, 2015  – Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Sok An, Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers, received Vietnamese ambassador to Cambodia on Tuesday, January 6, 2015; and both countries will seek to boost bilateral trade to $5 billion in 2015, while improving relations between the neighboring countries in all fields.

The ambitious trade target was revealed at a meeting yesterday between H.E. Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers, and the new Vietnamese ambassador to Cambodia, Thach Du.

“I am looking forward to fulfilling my diplomatic mission as ambassador and contributing to boosting bilateral trade and cooperation in all fields with Cambodia,” Ambassador Thach Du assured H.E Dr. Sok An in the meeting.

Cambodian-Vietnamese trade was worth $2.65 billion in the first 10 months of 2014, down on 2013’s figure of $3.43 billion, according to a Cambodian government statement.

Cambodia received more than 854,000 Vietnamese tourists in 2013 and Vietnam expect the number of Vietnamese tourists visiting Cambodia annually to reach one million in 2015, something which will further boost the Kingdom’s economy.

At the meeting, both H.E. Dr. Sok An and Ambassador Thach Du stressed the harmonious relations between the two countries, following the visit of Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang to Cambodia last month.

Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Sok An recalled the success of trial in August last year when the Extraordinary Chamber in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) sentenced former Khmer Rouge chief ideologue and chairman of parliament Nuon Chea and former head of state Khieu Samphan to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity they committed between 17 April 1975 to 6 January 1979.

Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, the former chief of the notorious Tuol Sleng Prison, was also sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2010 for crimes against humanity.

“The trials were successful and fair and based on international standards,” said H.E Dr. Sok An. 

He added that the government did not interfere with the work of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and would not do so in the future. 

“We leave such work to the investigating judges, both Cambodian and the UN-appointed ones,” the deputy prime minister said in the meeting.

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