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Trading partners: Hong Kong boost from lower tariffs

GOVERNMENT officials believe the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement had helped boost bilateral trade between Cambodia and Hong Kong.

Trade between the Kingdom and the city rose 15 percent in the first half of 2010, compared to the same period of last year, official data released by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council have shown.

“This increase is showing signs that the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement is going on in the region,” said secretary of state for Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce, Ok Boung.

The China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement came into effect in January this year. It required members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to reduce the majority of trade tariffs with China to zero percent. The newest members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar - will gradually eliminate tariffs by 2015.

The data showed that the value of trade increased to US$287 million. Of this, Hong Kong’s exports to Cambodia increased around 16 percent to $279 million. Hong Kong’s imports from the Kingdom rose 6 percent.

But the Director General of Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, Nguon Meng Tech, was concerned that local authorities could create barriers for investment.

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