Pakistan and Cambodia yesterday discussed strengthening economic ties in areas such banking and transportation, a government official said.
Ambassador of Pakistan Fazal-ur-Rahman Kazi and Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister Sok An considered an agreement on the protection of trade and investment, Ek Tha, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said.
Pakistan’s ambassador said he hopes an agreement will be signed next year, although there is no set timeline, according to Ek Tha.
Currently, trade between the two countries is valued at US$25 million. “It is a very small amount of money. We want to increase trade between the two countries,” the spokesman said, adding that possible sectors for increased cooperation included tourism, agriculture, banking and railroads.
The Central Asian state had expertise in banking and railroads that could be beneficial to Cambodia’s development, Ek Tha said.
“Now we are in a state of economic recovery. Cambodia’s economic growth is expected to be 8 per cent next year, so it is time for Pakistan to invest in Cambodia. If they don’t come, other people will come,” he said.
Pointing to the increase in tourism, Ek Tha said Cambodia also hoped for more Pakistani tourists making the trip to the Kingdom.
Pakistan is also a possible target for Cambodia’s increasing rice exports, he said.
Ambassador Fazal-ur-Rahman Kazi could not be reached yesterday for comment.