Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia, South Korea agree to official FTA talks

Cambodia, South Korea agree to official FTA talks

Cambodia, South Korea agree to official FTA talks

Cambodia and South Korea agreed on Thursday to launch official negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).

The announcement comes more than a year after Prime Minister Hun Sen proposed to begin preparations for the FTA during his visit to South Korea in March last year.

The two countries signed a joint feasibility study on establishing the FTA last year. The study was carried out between November and May.

South Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Yoo Myung-hee said in a statement: “Amid the spread of Covid-19, it has become more important for South Korea to expand cooperation with Southeast Asian countries.

“We are pleased to launch FTA negotiations with Cambodia, which can potentially rise as the new hub of production and trade in ASEAN.

“The two countries will make efforts to come up with a meaningful result within this year.”

Phnom Penh and Seoul are expected to hold their first round of negotiations later this month, sources have said.

Bilateral trade volume between the two countries hit $1 billion last year, gaining six per cent from 2018, data compiled by the Korea International Trade Association (Kita) show.

Cambodia exported $336 million worth of goods to South Korea last year and imported $697 million.

During a meeting with Cambodian residents in South Korea in February, Hun Sen said exports to South Korea mostly comprised of clothes, shoes, travel goods products, beverage, components for electronic equipment, rubber, medical and agricultural products.

Meanwhile, he said, Cambodia mainly imports vehicles, beverages, electronic equipment, home appliances, medical and plastic products.

The Kingdom is the 58th largest export destination for Asia’s fourth largest economy by gross domestic product (GDP).

MOST VIEWED

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped