Chinese End Visit, Ink Agricultural Package

Trade delegates from China’s Hubei province left Monday, ending a weeklong visit, a Chinese dip­lomat said Monday.

The delegates from state-own­ed and private businesses “were here to make a study on the possibility of future investment in Cambodia,” the diplomat said.

Zhou Chui Yuan, vice chairman of the delegation, said Friday that Cambodia should work to improve its agricultural efficiency. “Cambodia is rich in natural re­sources but greater efforts must be made to tap the country’s agricultural potential,” he said.

The Hubei delegation signed an agreement Friday with two Cambodian-based partners to co­operate on agricultural development, according to the document.

The agreement between the non-profit Federation for Advan­ced Agricul­ture Development of Cambodia, the Chi­nese Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia, and the Hubei delegation will bring agricultural expertise and assistance to Cambodia, said Ted Ngoy, chairman of the non-profit group.

The Chinese companies have agreed to provide high-yield seeds, fertilizer, machinery and tech­nical assistance to Cambodia in exchange for agricultural commodities and profits realized from surplus sales, Ted Ngoy said.

“We have 2.5 million hectares of available land in Cambodia and the Chinese are experts in producing high-yield agricultural produce,” said Ted Ngoy, also a government investment adviser.

Negotiations to obtain similar agreements with the provinces of Shandong, Liaoning, Hunan, Yunnan and Sichuan are under way, Ted Ngoy said. He noted that Chinese provincial governors were supportive of the schemes and hoped pilot projects would begin before the end of the year.

The Council for the Develop­ment of Cambodia approved mainland Chinese investment worth $112.5 million in 1998, up from $36 million in 1997, according to the council statistics.

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