The commerce ministry on May 4 announced that it had asked the Turkish embassy to encourage and open doors for players from the transcontinental country to invest in Cambodian agriculture, agro-industry and halal food processing, highlighting the abundance of raw materials in the Kingdom.

Ministry secretary of state Tekreth Kamrang made the request a day earlier at a meeting with Turkish ambassador Ulku Kocaefe and embassy first commercial counsellor Zore Aksahin Simsek in Phnom Penh, according to a ministry statement.

Officials at the meeting discussed strengthening and expanding trade, investment and other forms of economic cooperation.

Kamrang provided the ambassador with an overview of business opportunities and the investment environment in Cambodia, noting that cash crops such as rubber, cassava, rice, cashew nuts and bananas are abundant in the Kingdom.

Kamrang also lauded Kocaefe’s efforts to enhance bilateral relations and cooperation in all areas.

In turn, Kocaefe commented that bilateral relations and cooperation, especially in trade, have shown extraordinary vitality, prompting Ankara to establish a trade office in Cambodia and send Simsek – both of which she said would boost efficiency in trade and investment facilitation, in the interest of both countries’ private sectors, according to the statement.

Simsek affirmed her commitment to fostering trade growth, private-sector linkages, and knowledge sharing through training programmes, the statement said.

The ministry put the Cambodia-Turkey trade volume at “about $52 million” for the first-quarter, which it said marked a year-on-year increase of “about 80 per cent”.

Priority Cambodian exports to Turkey include garments, mangoes, rubber, cassava, corn, peppercorn, milled rice, organic chemicals and tobacco leaves, it said, adding that the analogous imports comprise garments and other textile-linked items, machinery and electrical devices, vehicles and spare parts thereof, and copper accessories.