QINGDAO, China—Cambodian and Chinese officials have signed a mutual-cooperation agreement covering plans to invest $1 billion in joint rubber and tire projects, the Cambodia Development Council (CDC) disclosed recently.
The agreement emerged from a visit by Sun Chanthol, first deputy prime minister of Cambodia, to China's National Centre for Research on Rubber & Tire Engineering Technology (NERCRAT).
The parties aim to "jointly strengthen a number of priority projects," CDC said of the agreement signed during a Jan. 5-8 trip to the center and related Chinese facilities.
NERCRAT has shown "a strong willingness to invest $1 billion in these priority projects" in Cambodia, the CDC added.
NERCRAT is an R&D center for advanced technology in the rubber and tire industry.
The CDC's statement did not include details about any specific project covered by the agreement.
There are two tire factories in Cambodia built with Chinese funding—Jiangsu General Science Technology Co. Ltd.'s passenger and truck tire plant in southwest Cambodia and Sailun Group Co. Ltd.'s passenger tire factory in Svay Rieng—as well as a third under construction by Doublestar Group.
In the short time those plants have been operational, Cambodia has emerged as a viable source of tires for the U.S. market. Through the first nine months of 2023, passenger tire imports from Cambodia totaled 3.4 million units, up fourfold over 2022 and good for eighth among countries of origin for tire imports.