Cambodia has confidence in China, says prime minister

Cambodia has confidence in China, says prime minister
Posted : Wed, 07 Nov 2007 08:18:05 GMT

Phnom Penh - Cambodia sees China's booming economy as a benefit, not a
threat, and the kingdom is anticipating 1 million Chinese tourists a
year as Chinese became richer, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Wednesday.
"Some people say China's economic growth is a threat to the world
economy but some say it is good for the region and the world," Hun Sen
told a conference on investment and trade in the capital.

"I believe when China becomes rich it is good for Cambodia. When we
receive Chinese tourists it is even better than Chinese investment. We
want 1 million Chinese tourists per year."

Hun Sen said he was inclined to trust in China's continued economic
growth, and questioned the effect the burgeoning current account
deficit of the US would have on exports for Cambodia and other
regional economies in the not-so distant future.

"This could be a danger for the world economy. The US is like the
locomotive engine of the train. When the engine stops, we all slow
down," he said.

According to the Ministry of Tourism third quarter statistics for
2007, mainland Chinese tourist arrivals to Cambodia ranked a distant
sixth of all nationalities, but the 82,915 Chinese tourists still
represented an increase of more than 47 per cent from last year.

China has rapidly become Cambodia's most important source of foreign
direct investment, and is also a major donor.