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Cambodia, Nepal look to deepen economic ties

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The first Cambodia-Nepal Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council meeting on April 8. COMMERCE MINISTRY

Cambodia, Nepal look to deepen economic ties

Cambodia and Nepal are committed to further strengthening and expanding bilateral ties and cooperation in the fields of economics, commerce, agriculture, energy and investment to further boost bilateral trade and pull the economies out of their Covid-19 slump, according to the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce.

At the first Cambodia-Nepal Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council meeting on April 8, commerce ministry secretary of state Sok Sopheak noted that the Cambodian economy is expected to grow 5.6 per cent this year, before accelerating to 6.6 per cent and seven per cent in 2023 and 2024, respectively, the ministry said in a statement on April 12.

He justified the forecast on the basis of the “success” of the national vaccination campaign, the “effectiveness” of socio-economic intervention measures and a spate of economic recovery strategies introduced at end-2021.

Sopheak emphasised the importance of the first TIFA Council meeting to “strengthening and expanding” bilateral relations and cooperative involvement.

Nepali Deputy Minister of Industry, Commerce and Supplies Ganesh Prasad Pandey praised the Cambodian government for its “strong capacity” in successfully preventing and fighting Covid-19 transmission, which he said can hasten the reopening of the country and the resumption of business and trade activities, according to the statement.

He said that Nepal supports the continued promotion of cooperative arrangements between the two countries that are tailored to stimulate bilateral trade and investment growth as well as build strong and sustainable economies.

The meeting exchanged views on mechanisms and initiatives towards the development of a joint work plan that could open the door to more opportunities and further bolster cooperation between institutions and private businesses of the two countries in “key” areas such as trade, investment, tourism, agriculture and energy, the statement said.

The two sides agreed to establish a joint work plan and set up a multi-sectoral working group by August, and to hold a second TIFA Council meeting in April 2023 to review the progress made and outline further directions for cooperation, it added.

Trade between Cambodia and Nepal remains limited. The Kingdom’s imports from and exports to the South Asian country were $3,250 and $45,120 in 2020, according to Trading Economics. “Edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers” made up $3,000 of imports, while “tanning, dyeing extracts, tannins, derivatives, pigments” accounted for $36,770 million of exports.

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