Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia, EEC put free trade on agenda

Cambodia, EEC put free trade on agenda

Cambodia, EEC put free trade on agenda

Officials from Cambodia and the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) meeting in Phnom Penh yesterday issued a statement affirming commitments to increasing bilateral trade made last year, and agreed to work toward a possible free trade agreement.

Tekreth Kamrang, secretary of state of the Ministry of Commerce, said during the first session of a joint working group between the two economies that one of the priorities of any future agreement would be to drop tariffs rates for certain goods.

“This is the first step toward discussing the details of a free trade agreement and we will now work on a joint feasibility study to explore the advantages and disadvantages of the agreement,” she said. “It might take about three to four years for both parties to work through and reach an official agreement.”

Last May, Prime Minister Hun Sen travelled to Russia and signed a memorandum of understanding with the EEC to develop relations with member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the controlling body of the EEC.

The EAEU is composed of five member states, made up of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.Rice and garments are Cambodia’s main exports to Russia, the largest member of the EAEU, according to Kamrang.

Tatiana Valovanya, a member of the board for integration and macroeconomics of the EEC, said after the signing ceremony that bilateral trade between Cambodia and the EAEU reached $138 million during the first 11 months of last year, a 30 percent year-on-year increase. However, she noted that the majority of that trade was shipments from Cambodia to Russia.

“We mostly import goods from Cambodia but we export very little,” she said. “We have a huge imbalance, but we are very much interested in increasing our exports and we can provide machinery, equipment, mineral resources, fertilisers, or other things.”

Following the meeting, officials of both countries agreed to organise a second session for the working group to be held in Moscow in 2018.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia’s image problem

    In opening remarks at a recent event, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luy David said information can be a double-edged sword. He told a European Institute of Asian Studies (EIAS) briefing seminar that the media has unfairly presented

  • PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

    Delivering a campaign speech from his home via Facebook Live on Thursday, caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had carried the country through danger in its latest mandate. He was specifically referring to the threat of a “colour revolution”

  • Bumpy road for local ride apps

    Ride-hailing services seem to have grown into a dominant player in the capital’s transportation sector. Relatively unknown and little used in the Kingdom at the beginning of this year, services like PassApp, Grab and ExNet are now commonplace on Phnom Penh streets. However, the

  • Hun Sen lays out party’s platform

    Caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday credited liberating Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge as among the reasons why people will vote for his ruling Cambodian People Party (CPP) in the July 29 national elections. Hun Sen, who has held the reins of power in Cambodia