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Cambodia-China FTA to boost bilateral trade, investment ties: Cambodian minister

2020-08-10 10:34:03 Xinhuanet.com

The free trade agreement (FTA) between Cambodia and China will undoubtedly promote stronger trade and investment ties between the two ries.

The free trade agreement (FTA) between Cambodia and China will undoubtedly promote stronger trade and investment ties between the two countries, Cambodia's Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak said in a recent interview with Chinese media.

The two sides wrapped up their negotiations on the bilateral FTA on July 20.

Sorasak said the agreement means a lot to Cambodia's economy as it gives greater market access to the country's products.

"This very huge market access enables Cambodia to diversify its products and markets and reduce over-reliance on a few trading partners, i.e., Europe, U.S., and Canada, who traditionally trade with Cambodia on a concessional basis such as Everything But Arms (EBA), Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)," he said.

The bilateral FTA also impeccably responds to Cambodia's policy directions sketched in the Industrial Development Policy and the "Rectangular Strategy," the minister added.

"Cambodia is highly confident that China, a hub of global business and investment, will not only open its market access for Cambodia's products in this current state, but also consider further liberalization for the kingdom's export," Sorasak said.

He added that as the world's economic powerhouse, China has a number of advantages ranging from raw materials, productivity, labor, infrastructure, economic diversification to education, among others.

"These have been the sources of China's economic boom and Cambodia is using China as a role model in our economic development as well," he said.

The minister said the upcoming signing of the bilateral FTA will undeniably stimulate the speed of Cambodia's infrastructure development projects, including those under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Speaking of the BRI, Cambodia has greatly benefited from the cooperation with China under this framework, Sorasak said, adding that from physical infrastructure, connectivity development to trade and tourism, the BRI has brought about significant contributions to its economy.

"Projects linked to the BRI such as the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) and the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway are two ideal examples to show how BRI helps Cambodia in strengthening industrial sector and diversifying exports through transport and logistics enhancement," he said.

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