Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom eyes US trade co-op as GSP renewal makes headway

Kingdom eyes US trade co-op as GSP renewal makes headway

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Ministry of Commerce secretary of state Buon Sarakmony (second left) and Wallis Yu (second right), the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) director for Southeast Asia and Pacific affairs at the meeting on August 10. COMMERCE MINISTRY

Kingdom eyes US trade co-op as GSP renewal makes headway

Cambodia and the US on August 10 renewed their commitment to further trade and investment cooperation, despite a number of challenges between the two countries that need to be addressed, as the latter pushes to renew a key trade preference scheme for developing countries.

This came during a bilateral meeting between Ministry of Commerce secretary of state Buon Sarakmony and a US Trade Representative (USTR) delegation led by Wallis Yu, director for Southeast Asia and Pacific affairs, held at the commerce ministry, according to a statement issued by the ministry.

Sarakmony commented on the rapid rate of growth in trade between the two countries in the first six months of 2022, despite Covid-19.

According to the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE), bilateral trade in the January-June period reached $4.817 billion, up 51.75 per cent year-on-year. Cambodian exports to the US rose 53.96 per cent to $4.648 billion, and imports grew 8.73 per cent to $168.222 million. The Kingdom’s trade surplus with the US expanded by 56.40 per cent to $4.480 billion.

The senior commerce official was quoted as saying: “Cambodia has been constantly striving to make the business-investment environment more attractive and favourable to international investors from different countries around the world.”

Yu thanked the Cambodian government and especially the commerce ministry for its inter-ministerial coordination that she said enabled the Kingdom to adopt US vehicle standards and thereby become an “important market” for the US automotive sector, according to the statement.

She also revealed that the US government is looking into reauthorising the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) and deciding on the conditions for countries to qualify as beneficiaries.

The GSP provides non-reciprocal, duty-free tariff treatment for certain products imported to the US from designated beneficiary developing countries and territories, which includes Cambodia. However, the scheme lapsed on December 31, 2020 and has yet to be renewed.

Yu asked the commerce ministry to keep the USTR up-to-date with information on trade- and investment-related laws and regulations aimed at improving the investment climate and attracting large long-term US investors into the Cambodian technology market, such as Amazon.com Inc and Facebook parent Meta Inc, the statement noted.

Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, commented that the US is among the biggest buyers of Cambodian goods, the bulk of which comprise garments, footwear and travel goods, as well as raw materials.

He underscored a number of determinants of exports to the US, namely: demand on the US market, the quality and standards of buyers, pricing suitability, and promptness of communication.

In 2021, trade between the two countries totalled $7.82649 billion, up by 40.4 per cent from $5.57526 billion in 2020, according to the GDCE.


  • Wing Bank opens new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004

    Wing Bank celebrates first anniversary as commercial bank with launch of brand-new branch. One year since officially launching with a commercial banking licence, Wing Bank on March 14 launched a new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004. The launch was presided over by

  • Siem Reap airport to close after new one opens

    After the new Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport (SAI) opens in October, the existing complex serving the northwestern province will be “completely closed”, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) spokesman Sin Chansereyvutha. SAI developer Angkor International Airport Investment (Cambodia) Co Ltd (AIAI) last month

  • Girl from Stung Meanchey dump now college grad living in Australia

    After finishing her foundational studies at Trinity College and earning a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Melbourne in 2022, Ron Sophy, a girl who once lived at the Stung Meanchey garbage dump and scavenged for things to sell, is now working at a private

  • Rare plant fetches high prices from Thai, Chinese

    Many types of plants found in Cambodia are used as traditional herbs to treat various diseases, such as giloy or guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) or aromatic/sand ginger (Kaempferia galangal) or rough cocklebur (Xanthium Strumartium). There is also a plant called coral, which is rarely grown

  • Ministry using ChatGPT AI to ‘ease workload’; Khmer version planned

    The Digital Government Committee is planning to make a Khmer language version of popular artificial intelligence (AI) technology ChatGPT available to the public in the near future, following extensive testing. On March 9, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications revealed that it has been using the

  • Cambodia returns 15M Covid jabs to China

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia will return 15 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to China for donation to other countries. The vaccines in question were ordered but had not yet arrived in Cambodia. While presiding over the Ministry of Health’s annual meeting held on