The Cambodian embassy in Bangkok on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Thai-based iLAWASIA Co Ltd to launch a new service that aims to facilitate and provide legal advice to Cambodian-Thai businesspeople and investors.
The MoU seeks to promote the implementation of economic diplomacy with a focus on trade, tourism and culture, the embassy said in a press release on the occasion of the Trade, Business and Migrants Legal Advisory Service’s official launch.
Cambodian ambassador to Thailand Ouk Sorphorn said the MoU will further expand access for the Cambodian and Thai private sectors to legal advice and assistance in trade disputes and contention involving Cambodians working in Thailand, according to the release.
“The MoU is another turning point in the strengthening of bilateral trade and labour cooperation between Cambodia and Thailand, as well as the trust building between the two countries’ business communities in consonance with the policy of the Royal Government of Cambodia.
“We encourage Cambodian-Thai businessmen, traders and investors who wish to partner in business and trade to consult with officers at the trade attache office at the Embassy of Cambodia in Bangkok and avoid disputes in the future, which could adversely affect bilateral trade relations between Cambodia and Thailand,” Sorphorn was quoted as saying.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng said he welcomed the new service, which he lauded as a boon for Cambodian migrant workers residing in Thailand.
“This is a windfall for Cambodian workers who have illegally migrated to Thailand for work or whose stay has expired. It’ll make it easier for them to legally live and work there again,” he said.
Speaking at the inauguration of National Road 55 in March, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that with strong cooperation between the governments and private sectors of both countries, he hopes that bilateral trade will hit $15 billion this year.
The $133 million, 182km road links from National Road 5 in Pursat provincial town to the province’s Thma Da commune, which borders Thailand’s Trat province.
Trade volume between the two countries was to the tune of more than $9.41 billion last year, increasing 12 per cent from $8.38 billion in 2018, the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh reported.
Cambodia’s exports to Thailand were worth $2.2 billion, up 195 per cent compared to $768 million in 2018. Thailand’s shipments to Cambodia were $7.14 billion, down six per cent from $7.61 billion in 2018, the embassy said.
Cambodia attracted more than $3.588 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, up 11.7 per cent from $3.212 billion last year, the National Bank of Cambodia said in its Macroeconomic and Banking Progress 2019 Report and 2020 Outlook.
Of the total, the financial sector received FDI worth $2.385 billion, while the non-financial sector received $1.203 billion.
A breakdown of the data by country showed that Chinese FDIs accounted for 43 per cent, South Korean (11 per cent), Vietnamese (seven per cent), Japanese and Singaporean (six per cent), and other countries (27 per cent).