China-Cambodia Business Tourism Cooperation Forum 2017 Held in Beijing
Vigorously implementing the “Belt and Road” Initiative and giving more impetus to China-Cambodia tourism cooperation
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and CPPCC Vice Chairman Wang Jiarui as well as Li Jinzao, Fang Aiqing, Thong Khon and Pan Sorasak attended the opening ceremony and delivered speeches.
On the afternoon of May 16, China-Cambodia Business Tourism Cooperation Forum 2017, jointly organized by China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), Ministry of Commerce of People’s Republic of China, Ministry of Tourism of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and Ministry of Commerce of the Kingdom of Cambodia, was held in Beijing. Attending the opening ceremony and delivering speeches were Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, CPPCC Vice Chairman Wang Jiarui, CNTA Chairman Li Jinzao, Deputy Minister of Commerce Fang Aiqing, Minister of Tourism of the Kingdom of Cambodia Thong Khon, and Minister of Commerce of the Kingdom of Cambodia Pan Sorasak.
Mr. Hun Sen thanked the Chinese government and people for their support for Cambodian trade and tourism. He remarked that, under the “Belt and Road” Initiative, the two countries have continued deepening the comprehensive cooperation and produced important achievements in bilateral trade and tourist exchanges. Cambodia has become a best known tourist destination, attracting a large number of overseas tourists. In 2016, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Cambodia totaled 830,000, increasing by 20% over the previous year. Cambodia is planning to build “China-Cambodia Friendship and Culture Park” in China and set up a number of Cambodian business centers in some Chinese provinces and cities as a way to publicize information and policies in Cambodian trade and tourism.
Mr. Wang Jiarui said that nearly one million trips were made between China and Cambodia in 2016, with increasingly close cooperation and exchanges between both sides in tourism. Bilateral tourism cooperation has entered a fast, sound, pragmatic and efficient development period, not only enhancing the mutual understanding and friendship between the people of the two countries, but also facilitating the pragmatic cooperation of related industries. Since 2017, China has become Cambodia’s largest source of tourists and international aviation market, with more than ten Chinese cities achieving direct flights. A number of Cambodian airlines have launched the Chinese market services. The aforesaid cooperation will help the Cambodian government attain the goal of attracting seven million foreign tourists by 2020, giving new impetus to the upgrading of the friendly and cooperative relations between both countries.
Mr. Li Jinzao said, China and Cambodia have been friendly countries since ancient times and are popular tourist destinations in the Asia-Pacific region. The Chinese and Cambodian people have formed a strong friendship. As the economy develops and tourism exchanges grow rapidly, the two-way travel trips registered 880,000 in 2016. China is ushering into the age of mass tourism, with a new round of development for the tourism industry. The industry has contributed to more than 10% of Chinese economy and employment. To meet the requirements of the times and the needs of the people, we are vigorously transforming the Chinese tourism industry from scenic-spot tourism to all-for-one tourism. On the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, President Xi Jinping delivered an important keynote speech for setting the development direction for the tourism cooperation and exchanges of those countries along the “Belt and Road”. This year is the China-ASEAN tourism cooperation year. Premier Li Keqiang said, "Tourism cooperation is an important part of the cultural exchanges and cooperation between China and ASEAN countries, which has enhanced mutual understanding and friendship among the people of these countries and facilitated pragmatic cooperation in various industrial fields." China-Cambodia tourism cooperation is an integral part of China-ASEAN tourism cooperation. We are delighted to join hands with Cambodia to promote mutual understanding and friendly feelings between the two peoples through tourism, consolidate the foundation of China-Cambodia friendship and write a new chapter in China-Cambodia tourism cooperation.
Thong Khon said that tourism has played an important role in Cambodia's economic development, accounting for 12% of GDP. It has provided a large number of jobs for the Cambodian people, and many Cambodians have benefited from this industry. In 2016, Cambodia attracted five million international visitors, an increase of 15%, of whom 830,000 are from China, representing an increase of 20%. China and Cambodia opened more than 120 flights. It is expected to attract one million Chinese tourists to Cambodia this year. The tourism industry plays a key role in the building of the “Belt and Road”. In the future, Cambodia will provide better service for Chinese tourists in terms of visa facilitation, transparency of tourism information and improvement of tourism quality.
Fang Aiqing and Pan Sorasak fully affirm the role of the tourism industry in promoting the people-to-people exchanges and consolidating the traditional friendship between the two countries.