The Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh on Wednesday pledged to promote trade and investment between the two countries, with emphasis on increasing the Kingdom’s exports and attracting an influx of new investors.
The pledge was made at a meeting between CCC president Kith Meng and newly-appointed Australian ambassador to Cambodia Pablo Chiho Kang at the CCC.
Meng, who is also the founder and CEO of local conglomerate Royal Group of Companies Ltd, said he had twice led a private-sector delegation comprised of CCC members, and accompanied by Prime Minister Hun Sen.
He said Royal Group has brought a few large companies from Australia to the Kingdom, which now operate locally as, inter alia, J Trust Royal Bank Ltd, Toll (Cambodia) Co Ltd (trading as Toll Royal Railway) and Wing (Cambodia) Limited Specialised Bank.
“We welcome working together with the embassy to attract more Australian investors into Cambodia as a means to further enhance our economic relations,” said Meng.
Ambassador Kang said he plans to lead a delegation of Australian businesspeople and investors to explore opportunities in the Kingdom, highlighting renewable energy as an ideal sector.
Meng was keen to acquaint the local community with the potential business partners. He said he hopes that constructive cooperation with the embassy will deepen bilateral economic relations.
Australia is one of the members of the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement as part of ASEAN Plus Six, which comprises of the 10 ASEAN countries, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.
The RCEP pact is expected to be signed by the end of the year. It is hailed as what would be the world’s largest trade bloc.
Bilateral trade between Cambodia and Australia reached A$285 million (US$196 million) last year, up 32.6 per cent from 2018, data from the embassy show.
Of the amount, Cambodia exported A$224 million, an increase of 34.9 per cent, and imported A$61 million, a 24.8 per cent increase.