HAIKOU, October 13. /TASS/. China's Hainan province has opened for the first time in People's Republic of China history a diplomatic mission — the general consulate of Cambodia has begun operating on the island, according to www.hinews.cn.
The governor of the region, Shen Xiaoming, and Cambodia's Ambassador Khek Kai Mili Sisoda, as well as 200 representatives of local authorities, business, academia and media attended the opening ceremony in the administrative center of Hainan, Haikou.
"This event not only demonstrates that the authorities of China and Cambodia pay close attention to promoting comprehensive partnership, but can also be considered a good example of how the Belt and Road Initiative member-states, together with China, carry out mutually beneficial development," Shen Xiaoming said noted. "Currently, targeted implementation of projects to establish a free trade zone and port on Hainan is underway; the authorities are working on strategic measures. Thus, the Sino-Cambodian relations will develop futher."
According to the governor, the opening of the consulate general will become a "new starting point" due to which the peoples of the two countries will get an opportunity to cooperate more fruitfully.
In turn, the ambassador of Cambodia emphasized that Phnom Penh intends to actively cooperate with Beijing in the fields of tourism, culture, in the trade and investment sphere. The ambassador noted that the new consulate general will simplify the task of ensuring bilateral document flow between Hainan and the kingdom a great deal.
Cambodia's geographical location is very close to Hainan. Recently, it has been actively involved in the implementation of joint projects in urban planning and construction, trade, tourism, medical services, tropical agriculture, science and education. Direct flights between the island and Cambodia have been launched, five flights are available. Simultaneously the kingdom of Cambodia is actively increasing trade turnover with China - according to official statistics, Chinese investments in Cambodia’s economy increased by 3,6 times in 2016-2018, reaching $ 3,5 billion. Over the past 10 years, trade turnover between the two states has been increasing by 26% annually, amounting to $ 6.6 billion last year, and in 2023, according to forecasts, it is expected to exceed $10 billion.