President Pratibha Devisingh Patil arrived in Phnom Penh on Monday afternoon from Vientiane on a four day visit to Cambodia that will also include two days in Siem Reap where the historic Angkor Wat complex is situated. She was received by Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia Kong Som Ol at the Phnom Penh International Airport.
During her stay in Phnom Penh, the President will meet the King of Cambodia Norodom Sihamoni, Prime Minister Hun Sen, President of the Senate Chea Sim, and President of the National Assembly, Heng Samrin.
Two agreements are expected to be signed between the two countries, with ties in investment and business to be concretised at an India-Cambodia business meeting that the President will be addressing on 15 September.
Quite apart from the early historical ties between the two countries that pre-dates the Angkorian period, India has played an important part in Cambodia's recent history. In the 1950s India was associated with the International Control Commission on Indo-China. After the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979, when Cambodia was isolated diplomatically, India was the first non-communist country to recognise the Heng Samrin government and to open a mission in Phnom Penh in 1980. India was also associated with the Paris Peace Accord that was finalised in 1991, and India provided military and non-military personnel for the conduct of the elections held in 1993 under the supervision of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia. The Archaeological Survey of India has undertaken extensive conservation of the Angkor Wat complex between 1986 and 1993, and has been since 2004 engaged in restoration work on Ta Prohm, one of the major temples of the Angkor complex.
Cambodia is currently the country coordinator for India in the ASEAN. The main platform for cooperation between the two countries is the India-Cambodia Joint Commission of Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation. The total bilateral trade between India and Cambodia was US$ 49.61 million in 2008-09.