PHNOM PENH, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- The bilateral relations between Cambodia and China in terms of investment, trade and tourism have become stronger in the past year thanks to the two countries' good relations, said officials Friday.
Cambodia attracted China's investments of 1.19 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, up 71 percent from 694 million U.S. dollars in a year earlier, according to the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).
China's 22 investment projects last year focused on property development, mineral business and processing plants, motorcycle assembly factories, gold mining, rice mill and garment factories.
The bilateral trades amounted to 2.5 billion U.S. dollars last year, up 73.5 percent, the highest growth rate among the bilateral trade between China and other ASEAN countries, according to the statistics provided by the Chinese Embassy.
Chheng Kimlong, an economics lecturer at the University of Cambodia, said the strong bilateral relations between the two countries are the most important factor resulting in sharp rises in the bilateral trade and investment.
In addition, he said, Cambodia has a number of potential sectors for investors and the country remains peaceful and political stability.
"These factors in combination with Cambodia's constant supports and incentives to Chinese investors, more and more Chinese see Cambodia as safe place for their investments," he said.
Cambodia attracted 247,200 Chinese tourists last year, an increase of 39 percent--the highest growth rate among foreign visitors to this impoverished country, said Tith Chantha, director general of the Tourism Ministry.
He said the sharp increase in Chinese visitors to Cambodia was due to attractive tourism sites, broad promotion and increasing direct flights.
"We hope that Cambodia will receive at least one million Chinese tourists by 2020," he said, adding that to achieve the target, the ministry has encouraged more training courses for Chinese speaking guides and urged hotels, restaurants and other entertainment facilities to use Chinese language.