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Two business bodies liaise to bolster Cambodia-Thai trade

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Cambodia Business Council (CBC) president Sambath Sothea (third right) and his counterpart at the Thai Business Council in Cambodia (TBCC), Jiranun Wongmongkol (centre), at the two trade bodies’ first meeting on Friday. CBC

Two business bodies liaise to bolster Cambodia-Thai trade

Bangkok-based Cambodia Business Council (CBC) and the Thai Business Council in Cambodia (TBCC) have pledged to work together to attract investors from either country and boost economic diplomacy, with a strong focus on expanding bilateral goods trade and achieving the two national leaders’ long-standing plan to top the $15 billion mark.

The two trade bodies made the vow at a first meeting, in Phnom Penh on May 28, just eight days after the CBC opened.

The newly-formed partnership will serve as a bridge, providing encouragement and support to Thai and Cambodian investors and businessmen looking to strike up new relationships and ventures, and as a tool in Cambodia’s pursuit of economic diplomacy on the international stage.

Speaking at the meeting, CBC president Sothear Sambath credited the establishment of the council as an initiative of Cambodian ambassador to Thailand Ouk Sorphorn, to promote and enhance Cambodia’s economic diplomacy in the international arena, with particular emphasis on luring more investors to the Kingdom of Wonder.

Sambath said: “Cambodia and Thailand are neighbours, with the same culture and way of life, so the role of the CBC is not only to increase and attract investment, but we also want to increase cultural, tourism and people-to-people contacts.”

TBCC president Jiranan Wongmongkol also said she would work with the CBC to attract Thai investors and businesspeople, and mobilise more Cambodian investors and businessmen.

“I am very pleased with the cooperation between the two institutions, which will be an additional impetus for Cambodian and Thai businessmen and investors to unlock next-level confidence in investing in each other’s businesses,” she said.

According to Sambath and Jiranan, CBC and TBCC will sign a memorandum of understanding in the future to outline, regulate and speed up the work, despite the spread of Covid-19 disease plaguing both economies.

Trade volume between Cambodia and Thailand reached $7.236 billion in 2020, down 23.17 per cent from 2019, due to disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cambodia exported $1.148 billion worth of goods to Thailand in 2020, down 49.49 per cent from the previous year, and imported $6.089 billion, down 14.80 per cent from 2019, according to statistics from the Thai Ministry of Commerce.

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