Pudja Lestari, Jakarta – Cambodian Trade Minister Pan Sorasak said his government is seeking to boost the bilateral trade with Indonesia to more than $1 billion this year as he praised the stable and resilient investment and business climate in the fellow ASEAN country.
During an interview with news broadcaster BTV on Monday evening, Sorasak said he has observed how the investment and business climate in Indonesia has been very stable in recent years and the economy has been very resilient to grow by 5.31 percent last year amid geopolitical tension and global economic hardship.
"Indonesia's investment climate is always moving up. What has happened, we are also learning from you. The president is now very active in taking Indonesia to the next level," Sorasak said.
He expressed confidence that the bilateral trade volume and investment between the two countries will flourish as the two neighbors have built a solid foundation of mutual trust.
Sorasak even described Indonesia as his second home where he lived for a few years in the 1990s and made friends with many Indonesian prominent figures such as Enggartiasto Lukita, who served as the trade minister from 2016-2019.
"Something that I believe is the relationship between Indonesia and Cambodia is based on friendship. Indonesia is my second home, I'm happy to be back," said Sorasak, who visited Indonesia to attend the ASEAN Economic Ministers' Retreat in Magelang, Central Java, on Tuesday.
In bilateral trade, Cambodia is offering agricultural products to Indonesian markets.
"Milled rice and cassava are our two main crops. Cambodia has a surplus of almost 6 million tons of rice per year," Sorasak said, claiming that Cambodian rice is the best in the world.
During the interview, Sorasak invited the Indonesian private sector to invest in Cambodia, which is currently working on providing direct commercial flights between the two countries.
"In any country, if you want to do trade and investment, a direct flight is important. It doesn't matter how frequent or not frequent the flight is but you have to make it easy for potential investors to go to the country in order for them to see by themselves with their own eyes what the country can do," Sorasak said.