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Kingdom, Malaysia pledge greater trade cooperation

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Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (left) and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen witness the two agreements. FRESH NEWS

Kingdom, Malaysia pledge greater trade cooperation

Cambodia and Malaysia have pledged to strengthen economic cooperation and boost trade and investment, according to a joint statement issued on Tuesday.

The two Asean nations signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and tourism cooperation agreement, which was witnessed by Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohamad.

At the signing, Hun Sen said both countries have pledged to facilitate all the necessary means to strengthen and boost trade and investment cooperation.

“The Cambodian government welcomes Malaysian investors to seek investment opportunities in Cambodia, particularly in the agriculture, education and tourism sectors,” he said.

The prime minister said Malaysia also pledged to promote cross border trade with Cambodia via future “Asean digital forums”.

Cambodia is Malaysia’s eighth largest trading partner in Asean.

Mahathir said that while Malaysia’s economy is larger than Cambodia’s, the country will strive to buy more products from the Kingdom.

“When I am back in Malaysia, I will tell our Malaysian people to buy more products from Cambodia. Exactly, maybe we will buy Cambodian rice and fruits and other products.

“To strengthen the relations between two countries, we want to see more Malaysians visit Cambodia and more Cambodians visit Malaysia,” he said.

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Malaysian Ambassador to Cambodia Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim told Malaysian news agency Bernama on Sunday that the DTAA will also boost investment and trade between the two countries.

“The imposition of double taxation has somewhat deterred Malaysian investors from coming to Cambodia. With the DTAA, more Malaysian companies can explore business and investment opportunities here,” he said.

Eldeen Husaini said that in the first three months of this year, the embassy had received 20 applications from Malaysian companies keen on exploring business and investment opportunities in Cambodia.

Chuk Chumno, spokesman for the Department of Tourism Product Development under the Ministry of Tourism, told The Post on Tuesday that the tourism cooperation agreement between the two countries would help exchange human resources and promote tourism products.

“The cooperation is intended to promote mutual arrivals between the two countries,” he said.

There are currently 58 direct flights per week between Cambodia and Malaysia, said Chumno.

During the first six month of this year, Cambodia welcomed more than 90,000 Malaysian visitors among the 3.3 million total foreign visitors, according to Ministry of Tourism figures.

Cambodia has a trade deficit with Malaysia with the Kingdom’s exports between 2015 and last year totalling $571 million and imports $1.36 billion, data from the Ministry of Commerce shows.

The value of Malaysian-Cambodian trade last year was $514 million, of which Cambodia exported $129 million and imported $385 million, figures show.

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