Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trade body seen as key to exploring new markets




Trade body seen as key to exploring new markets

Trade body seen as key to exploring new markets

Cambodian officials are eyeing membership of a regional trade body involving China and India as part of efforts to reduce the country's reliance on traditional export markets in the United States and Europe.

Senior government minister Ly Thuch said the Ministry of Commerce was well advanced in discussions with member countries of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA).

"Joining APTA will help us integrate further in the Asia-Pacific region as well as give us more access to the most dynamic markets in Asia," he said, referring specifically to India, China and South Korea.

APTA, previously known as the Bangkok Agreement, is a preferential tariff arrangement signed in 1975 as an initiative of the UN's Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) to promote intra-regional trade through concessions between member countries.

It is open to all developing ESCAP member countries, but only China, India, South Korea, Bangladesh, Laos and Sri Lanka have joined. Members are currently participating in the fourth round of tariff concessions, which are expected to conclude in October 2009. Ministry of Commerce Undersecretary of State Em Sophoan said admission would help Cambodia boost exports. "If we join with APTA, we can cut down trade barriers and open big markets among the member countries," he said.

Marc Proksch, an economic affairs officer in ESCAP's Trade Policy Section, agreed, saying regional cooperation was necessary to reduce Asia's reliance on struggling export markets in the West.

MOST VIEWED

  • Thousands attend CNRP-organised pro-democracy vigil in South Korea

    Thousands of supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Saturday gathered in the South Korean city of Gwangju to hold a candlelight demonstration calling for the “liberation” of democracy in Cambodia. Yim Sinorn, a CNRP member in South Korea, said on

  • US Embassy: Chinese trade does not help like the West’s

    The US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Friday said relations between China and Cambodia did not create jobs or help industry when compared to the trade between the Kingdom and the US. “About 87 per cent of trade [with China] are Chinese imports, which do not

  • Vietnamese land-grabbers held

    Following a provincial court order, Ratanakkiri Military Police on April 16 arrested 12 Vietnamese nationals accused of crossing the border into Cambodia and illegally clearing forest land. The accused are now being detained at Phnom Svay prison in the province. Ratanakkiri military police commander Thav Yen told

  • Eight people sent to court over violent protest

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities on Sunday sent eight people to court for blocking National Road 4 and using violence against authorities in a land dispute in Prey Nop district’s Bit Traing commune. Four police officers and two commune security guards sustained injuries when the protesters