Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - EU, US unlikely to revoke trade status, research group says

EU, US unlikely to revoke trade status, research group says

Garment workers sew sweatshirts and check for defects at a factory in Phnom Penh in 2013.
Garment workers sew sweatshirts and check for defects at a factory in Phnom Penh in 2013. Pha Lina

EU, US unlikely to revoke trade status, research group says

A global research company says the US and EU are unlikely to revoke the preferential trade agreements that underpin Cambodia’s garment sector, a prediction supported by nearly every analyst The Post interviewed in recent months.

Fitch BMI said in a report on Tuesday that the EU and the US "appear reluctant to remove preferential trade access for Cambodia’s crucial garment exports,” according to Reuters.

The report comes amid a crackdown on independent media and political opposition in Cambodia, including the widely criticised dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), the only viable opposition party, in November.

The US and EU have been urged by rights groups to reconsider Cambodia's preferential trade access to their markets, but analysts have previously said that targeted sanctions are more likely than a complete reworking of trade agreements.

The Reuters article quotes Raphael Mok, a senior analyst at BMI Research, as saying, “At this stage, it appears that the US and the EU will likely refrain from undertaking such punitive actions against Cambodia in the near-term.”

More than 60 percent of Cambodia’s garments are exported to the US and EU markets under favourable trade agreements, and the sector employs more than 800,000 people.

The agreements are so critical to the economy that even former members of the CNRP have thus far refrained from urging the international community to revoke them.

MOST VIEWED

  • Forest rangers seek 1,210 rifles after serious attacks

    The Ministry of Environment sought permission from the Ministry of National Defence to arm municipal and provincial rangers with 1,210 rifles in response to one of its rangers being killed and two others critically assaulted while out on patrol in Mondulkiri and Kampong Thom provinces. In

  • Rainsy stopped in Paris from boarding Thai flight

    Airline officials at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport on Thursday prevented Sam Rainsy from boarding his flight to Bangkok ahead of his announced return to Cambodia on Saturday. Prime Minister Hun Sen had earlier in the day assured Phnom Penh residents that there would be

  • Analyst: Rainsy blocked from boarding flight 'an excuse'

    THAI Airways not allowing Sam Rainsy on its route from Paris to Bangkok on Thursday is being used as an excuse to keep his standing among fellow coup plotters and his uninformed supporters as flights to non-Asean countries are available, an analyst said on Friday.

  • Rainsy lands in Malaysia

    Cambodian opposition figure Sam Rainsy arrived in Kuala Lumpur airport on Saturday afternoon after boarding a flight from Paris, where he has been living for more than four years. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Koy Kuong said on Saturday that Cambodia respected

  • Prayut indicates no entry into Thailand for CNRP’s Rainsy

    Cambodian government officials on Wednesday welcomed the position of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha after he indicated that Sam Rainsy would not be allowed to return to Cambodia through Thailand. “According to our commitment to Asean, we will not interfere in each other’s internal

  • Sokha continues call for dropping of charge after bail conditions reduced

    Not satisfied with having his bail conditions reduced, allowing him to travel freely in Cambodia, Kem Sokha says he wants his charge totally dropped. “As an innocent man who has been in detention for two years even without being found guilty, I continue to demand