|Khmer classic: Cambodian dancers doing the famous Apsara dance. — Photo vn.nagaworld.com
This year, the Cambodian people celebrate their 60th National Day as well as the birthday of the Cambodia Kingdom's royal army under the bright leadership of King Norodom Sihanouk, who relentlessly struggled against the French colonialists to gain independence (09-11-1953 – 09-11-2013).
The King, who passed away in 2012, gained great prestige and success in the process of building and protecting the country as well as setting up good relationships with neighbouring countries and other countries in the world, especially Viet Nam.
In 2010, Father King Norodom Sihanouk and acting King Norodom Sihamony officially visited Viet Nam to enhance the relationship between the two countries.
Every year, various visits and experience exchanges between the two countries' leaders are organised. Then President Nguyen Minh Triet led a high-ranking delegation to visit Cambodia in 2010, followed by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong's visit in 2011.
In 2011, National Assembly chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung and his delegation joined the AIPA meeting in Cambodia. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung attended Father King Norodom Sihanouk's funeral earlier this year.
Two-way trade between the two countries in the first half of this year reached more than US$2.83 billion, which is planned to be boosted to $5 billion by 2015.
More than 423,000 Vietnamese tourists visited Cambodia in the first six months of this year, outnumbering visitors from any other country. The yearly total of Vietnamese tourists is expected to reach 1 million by 2014.
The Cambodian government offers various policies to draw foreign tourists to Cambodia, including setting up new direct flights, easing visa procedures and applying visa exemptions for certain countries.
The government plans further tourism promoting events including a beach festival in Kep City later this year, encouraging each tourist to plant a tree when visiting Cambodia and preparing for a world tourism and culture conference organised by the UNESCO and UN WTO in Siem Reap Province.
Viet Nam has invested nearly $1.5 billion into Cambodia. Its investments include Angkor Air, BIDV Bank, Cho Ray Hospital, Metfone network and a fertiliser factory.
Cambodia exports various goods to Viet Nam such as rice, rubber, soya beans and herbs.
Cambodia plans to export 1 million tonnes of rice in 2015. It's estimated that the country's growth rate will reach 7.2 per cent this year despite natural disasters.
In developing human resources, the Vietnamese government has offered many short and long-term scholarships to Cambodian students. Between 1981 and 2013, more than 3,000 Cambodian staff and students have received scholarships to study in Viet Nam.
I highly appreciate Viet Nam's rapid development. Viet Nam has changed a lot since my first term here between 1994 and 1997 in terms of infrastructure, hydro electricity and agriculture. I believe that Viet Nam will become an industrial country by 2020. — VNS