Cambodia and France have initiated negotiations on a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) to enhance business and investment flows between the two nations.

Bun Neary, deputy director-general of the General Department of Taxation (GDT), chaired the first round of talks with a French delegation led by Florian De Filippo, head of the International Trade Rules Division at the French finance ministry on December 7, according to a GDT press release. 

Neary said the meeting was an important step towards facilitating DTA discussions, marking a new phase in tax cooperation and investment promotion. 

She noted that initiation of deliberations was a result of a visit by the delegation to the GDT in April 2022, coordinated by the French embassy in Phnom Penh. 

“We firmly believe that the Cambodia-France DTA will serve as a new instrument to bolster bilateral tax cooperation and stimulate investment between the two nations,” she stated.

The GDT noted that both parties are keen to accelerate the discussions, agreeing to engage in detailed conversations on all aspects of the draft agreement. 

Lim Heng, vice-president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC), emphasised DTAs’ significance for investors, particularly those from major trading partners.

“Under the agreement, investors pay only 10% income tax, compared to 14% without the DTA. Extending such agreements to more countries will bolster investment through increased signatories,” he stated.

According to the GDT, Cambodia has established DTAs with 11 countries and territories to date, with nine currently in effect. The country’s partners include Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Turkiye, mainland China and its special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. 

The agreements with Turkiye and Macau are scheduled to be operational in January 2024.

The France-Cambodia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFC) reports that there are 150 French companies in its membership, and a recent survey found over 500 French businesses operating in the Kingdom. 

According to the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE), Cambodia-France trade volume reached $542.37 million in 2022, a 25.92% increase from 2021. Cambodian exports constituted 78.02% of the activity. 

Exports to France stood at $423.13 million with imports from the world’s seventh-largest economy by GDP at $119.24 million for 2022, marking year-on-year growths of 27.89% and 19.41% respectively. Cambodia’s trade surplus expanded by 31.55%, from $231 million in 2021 to $303.89 million in 2022, as per the GDCE.