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

  • Website advises travellers to stay clear of Angkor Wat

    An Australian website has advised travellers to avoid Angkor Wat during their trip to Southeast Asia because the ancient temple is showing signs of rapid erosion and faced water management issues. In a recent article entitled Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid

  • First deportees of the year touch down in Cambodia

    Twenty-five Cambodian-Americans landed in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, marking the first such deportations of the year. “On Wednesday, US law enforcement authorities deported 25 Cambodian nationals that immigration judges determined had no legal basis to remain in the US,” said Arend Zwartjes, spokesperson for the US

  • Passenger taxi boat ridership sinks despite free services

    Passenger taxi boat traffic has dropped by about five per cent compared to the same period last year, despite the government providing free service for garment workers until next year, Phnom Penh Autonomous Bus Transportation Authority director Ean Sokhim said on Monday. In 2018, the Phnom

  • Kingdom drafting new law to strengthen immigration

    The Ministry of Interior on Tuesday said it had formed a working group to draft amendments to the Law on Immigration. Its secretary of state Sok Phal told The Post that the amendments will strengthen the management of immigrants in line with the current situation.

  • Qatar Airways to connect Doha and Siem Reap town

    Qatar Airways Company QCSC has announced a new route connecting Qatar’s capital Doha with Siem Reap, a move hailed by local officials as a significant step to boost tourist numbers. A Qatar Airways representative, speaking at the Kuwait Aviation Show, announced on Thursday that

  • Jica seeks to turn PP, towns into smart cities

    Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica) representatives have sought support from Siem Reap’s Apsara National Authority (ANA) to transform the ancient capital into a smart city. The call was made in February last year after the government approved three cities to join the Asean Smart