Cambodia and Turkey have pledged to boost cooperation between the two countries, as Prime Minister Hun Sen and the new Turkish ambassador Ulku Kocaefe met at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh on August 25.

Both sides said Cambodia and Turkey had great potential for further cooperation with a number of agreements to be signed.

Following the meeting, Hun Sen’s personal assistant Eang Sophalleth said a trade office at the Turkish embassy will be opened to boost cooperation in all areas, bilaterally, regionally and globally, he added.

Sophalleth quoted the ambassador as saying: “Our two countries still have a lot of potential for cooperation, with some agreements already signed. We will harness this potential as the basis for boosting cooperation between the two countries.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen agreed with her that our two countries still have a lot of potential for expansion and the further strengthening of cooperation.”

Hun Sen congratulated Kocaefe on her appointment as Turkish ambassador to Cambodia. He welcomed the creation of the chamber of commerce at the Turkish embassy and hoped it would increase economic, trade and investment cooperation, he added.

Thong Mengdavid, a research fellow at the Asian Vision Institute’s Mekong Centre for Strategic Studies, recalled that formal ties between Cambodia and Turkey began in 1959, with relations since expanding, particularly in the textiles, agriculture, tourism and culture sectors.

“Boosting economic and business activities remains a key factor in attracting more investment from Turkey, while the number of Turkish companies in Cambodia is still relatively low,” he said.