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China’s Ally Cambodia Considers Use of Yuan to Lure More Tourists
Cambodia is urging businesses to accept payment in yuan as it seeks to attract more Chinese tourists.
Cambodia is urging businesses to accept payment in yuan as it seeks to attract more Chinese tourists, officials said on Wednesday, the latest sign of tightening ties between Phnom Penh and Beijing.
Cambodia is China’s closest ally in Southeast Asia and last week handed Beijing a diplomatic victory in a dispute over the South China Sea at a meeting of the Association of South East Asian Nations.
China is already the second-largest source of tourists to Cambodia after Vietnam, with nearly 1 million arrivals a year.
Casinos, some of them Chinese operated and catering to predominately Chinese visitors, punctuate the skyline of Phnom Penh.
Accepting the yuan is part of a Ministry of Tourism plan to more than double the number of Chinese tourists by 2020.
“We want to target 2 million tourists per year from 2020, so we aim to implement it now,” Tith Chantha, a secretary of state at the ministry, told.
“We want to encourage the use of yuan.”
Cambodia is heavily dependent on Chinese aid and investment and Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Tuesday Chinese tourists would help drive growth.
“More businesses may decide to accept payments in RMB if that makes them more profitable, but the concerns about exchange rate fluctuation and counterfeiting are likely to limit this,” said Joseph Lovell of the American Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia.
Lovell said if Chinese tourists knew they could readily use RMB in Cambodia, it might encourage more visits.
  Source: Reuters UK

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