Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Minister urges ties with Asian nations

Minister urges ties with Asian nations

Minister urges ties with Asian nations

CAMBODIA must further integrate with its East Asian neighbours for future economic development, said Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon.

The financial crisis highlighted the need to diversify production, and Asia’s markets are ripe for increased Cambodian exports, he said.

“The strengthening and deepening of integration in East Asia … is indispensible,” he said.

Speaking at the 7th annual Asia Economic Forum in Phnom Penh on Saturday, the minister highlighted the Kingdom’s efforts to increase transport linkages with its neighbours, such as the missing 257 kilometre rail link from Phnom Penh to Loc Ninh, Vietnam, which would allow trains to travel from Singapore to Kunming, China.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary of State Kao Kim Hourn urged Cambodia to focus on developing its export industries, aiming particularly at fellow ASEAN member states.

“The Cambodian economy is small and that’s why we have to reach out to other regional economies,” he said.

ASEAN members have pledged to remove tariffs and quotas by 2015, aiming to create a single market for the bloc’s 600 million people.

Keat Chhon said bilateral disputes, such as at the border, “have become the foremost critical challenge for ASEAN”.

He said a dispute mechanism should be established to reduce the problem in the future.

Economic Institute of Cambodia President Sok Hach said the Kingdom’s agricultural industry is crucial to its future economic growth. “Cambodia’s rice industry has huge implications for the economy,” he said.

US Ambassador Carol Rodley praised Cambodia’s efforts to develop its agriculture industry, pointing to it as an area of future growth.

“There’s a remarkable story of economic development that has gone on in the rice sector of Cambodia,” she said. “In 2000, Cambodia exported zero rice. In 2009, Cambodia exported over 800,000 tonnes.”

However, Rodley said it would be difficult for Cambodia to export rice to the US, as the country had a robust rice-production industry of its own.

“Our producers are very efficient,” she said.  “They also have the benefit of much cheaper energy prices, better technology and easy access to improved inputs, so it’s going to be a struggle for Cambodia and other developing countries to compete in that particular market.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,