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In a dimly lit ballroom at a Tokyo luxury hotel, Sok Chenda Sophea, the secretary-general of the Council for the Development of Cambodia and the minister attached to Prime Minister Hun Sen, persistently asked about 200 Japanese businesspeople to invest in Cambodia.

“Cambodia is not mini-China, come [visit],” Sophea said at the Cambodian Investment Forum on March 5. Sophea’s 30-minute speech mentioned everything from special economic zones to Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA).

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