Cambodia and Turkey aim to boost bilateral tr ade up to $1 billion per year, according to a post on Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Facebook page.
Hun Sen on Saturday met with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the “Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia” (CICA) in Tajikistan.
Earlier this year, the two countries had pledged to increase bilateral trade to $500 million by next year.
“Both sides should boost investors and investment to do businesses together as much as possible,” Erdogan told Hun Sen.
Hun Sen said he wants to see trade volumes between Turkey and the Kingdom reach $1 billion per year while boosting diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Cambodia is preparing to establish its embassy in Ankara, the prime minister said.
“A list of goods that can be exported and imported between the two countries should be compiled, namely, what products Cambodia can bring to Turkey, and what products Turkey can bring to Cambodia,” he said.
Cambodian Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng on Sunday said Turkey is an emerging country with a large population and a high potential for investment, though investment between Cambodia and Turkey has historically been relatively small.
He said Turkey’s many halal food consumers provide much potential for Cambodia to invest in food production, adding that direct flights between the two countries would contribute significantly to achieve the goal of increasing trade volumes.
“Because Cambodia has high potential in the tourism sector, taking this first step is a good thing before going on to invest in industry and halal food processing,” he said.
Heng said Cambodian exports to Turkey include garments, shoes, rice and other agricultural products, while Turkish investments in Cambodia include schools, decorative materials and carpets.
The Cambodian Ministry of Tourism’s first quarterly report of this year said from January to March, Cambodia received 2,339 Turkish visitors, down 27.7 per cent from the 3,236 recorded in the same period last year.
Ministry of Commerce spokesman Long Kemvichet said in addition to attracting foreign investors to the Kingdom, the ministry also seeks new markets for the Kingdom’s products. “Finding new markets and diversifying products is a job the Ministry of Commerce is doing regularly,” he said.
There is no data for Cambodian-Turkish trade last year, but Kemvichet said Cambodian exports to Turkey were valued at $19.6 million in 2017.