The Cambodian and Vietnamese central banks on November 8 entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in financial innovation and payment systems in a move to accelerate development in the sector and boost cross-border payments between the two neighbouring ASEAN nations.
The MoU was signed by National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto and his State Bank of Vietnam counterpart Nguyen Thi Hong, and witnessed by the prime ministers of both countries.
“The MoU aimed to enhance the cooperation framework for the development of the fintech and payment system between two countries,” the NBC said in a statement.
Cambodia Post Bank Plc CEO Toch Chaochek told The Post on November 10 that the MoU would promote adoption of the KHQR standard for banking quick response (QR) codes in Vietnam, similar to an arrangement that the NBC entered into with the Bank of Thailand.
“In addition, the convenient payment system will facilitate cross border trade and [lift] economic ties between the two countries,” he said.
Meanwhile, speaking at this year’s Cambodia-Vietnam Investment and Trade Promotion Forum on November 8, Prime Minister Hun Sen issued a fresh invitation to Vietnamese business players to explore investment opportunities in the Kingdom, including for co-investment with Cambodian entities, to maximise the benefits of bilateral and multilateral cooperation frameworks in the post-Covid-19 era.
“I encourage Vietnamese investors to put in more money and do more business in Cambodia, especially in areas showing great potential, such as modern agriculture, food processing and light manufacturing,” Hun Sen said, highlighting agriculture and telecoms as two popular choices for Vietnamese investors in the pre-pandemic era.
The bilateral commodity trade between Cambodia and Vietnam stood at $5.002 billion in the first 10 months of 2022, up 20.54 per cent from the same time last year, according to figures posted by the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE) on November 10.
In the January-October period, Cambodian commodity exports to Vietnam amounted to $1.664 billion, up 2.77 per cent year-on-year, and imports $3.337 billion, up 31.91 per cent. The Kingdom’s trade deficit with its neighbour for the 10-month period expanded by 83.77 per cent on a yearly basis to $1.673 billion.
Vietnam was also the second biggest buyer of Cambodian commodities – after the US at $7.618 billion – accounting for an 8.88 per cent market share.
In October alone, the Cambodian-Vietnam commodity trade came to $368.20 million, up 4.51 per cent year-on-year but down 5.48 per cent month-on-month, while the Kingdom’s exports were to the tune of $104.45 million, down 2.41 per cent year-on-year but up 15.32 per cent month-on-month.