Can Cambodia capitalise on China’s economic policies?

While China will continue to manoeuvre its macro policies and boost the market expectation in 2020 to ensure economic growth will remain within a reasonable range

Agencies – While China will continue to manoeuvre its macro policies and boost the market expectation in 2020 to ensure economic growth will remain within a reasonable range, other countries will be keeping a close eye on the actualeffects.

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Among them, naturally, will be Cambodia, which is increasingly spreading its trade tentacles to harvest any fiscal advantage it can achieve.

Phnom Penh has always tried to hold a middle ground between the two most powerful economic nations, the United States and China, but there are simple geographical reasons why Beijing is regarded as its more favoured friend.

Pragmatism also comes into the equation.

Many observers believe that China will soon knock the US off uts economic perch.

Its infrastructure is developing as that of the US withers (has anyone seen a high-speed train in America?).

It is not embroiled in any wars that have cost the US trillions of dollars over the years.

And, quite frankly, it has a domestic market of some 1.4 billion people, with millions taken out of poverty in the past 30 years, wages rising and growing consumerism.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made the remarks about ensuring economic growth when presiding over a symposium this week, where he heard views and recommendations made by scholars and entrepreneurs on a draft version of the government work report.

Li, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said the country will accelerate creating a business environment that is market-oriented, based on rule of law and internationalised to further energise market entities.

The implementation of tax and fee cuts will be expanded, and more effective measures will be taken to address the financing difficulties of small and micro businesses, he said.

Li stressed the importance of a loose and fair business environment for the enterprises, noting that there should be less government intervention in microeconomic activities.

Li also called for the development of new industries and businesses to counter downward pressure with greater market vitality and encouraged domestic firms to participate in international cooperation and develop diversified markets.

Cambodia is waiting in the wings, more than ready and willing to provide what it can, whether it be in the garment, agriculture or tourism industries.

Investment in infrastructure and urban facilities will be strengthened in areas of weakness in Cambodia and there will be greater support for expanding and upgrading consumption to unlock the vast potential of the domestic market, various Cambodian ministers have declared.

Let us see how Cambodia can capitalise on a confident China. Many would say they have a lot to offer each other and are open to do so.

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