Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has said that Cambodia is still trying to keep its access to the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement and the US’ General System of Preferences (GSP) through negotiations.
His remarks came during his mission to Germany from September 24 to October 1, which was aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation with the German Federation, learning about the sub-national level administrative reform processes of the country, and discussing other related topics.
While Cambodia is negotiating with the bloc and the US respectively to keep its access to EBA and the GSP, the Kingdom will continue its good diplomatic relations with both economic powerhouses, said Kheng when speaking to members of the Cambodian diaspora in the German Schwabisch Gmund town, in Baden-Wurttemberg state.
Besides EBA and the GSP, Kheng who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, told the Cambodian diaspora that through government-held public forums in all local areas, it had helped solve difficult problems facing the people.
“The public forms were held in all local areas to gather opinion, concerns and requests from citizens. And through this mechanism, the national and sub-national level authorities solved many problems of citizens effectively,” he stressed.
The director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia Kin Phea supported Kheng’s remarks, saying: “The government is aware of the importance of the EBA and the GSP.
“So the government has the goodwill to make the EU and US keep our EBA and GSP status because the agreements help our country compete with exports to the EU and US markets.”
However, he said the Cambodian government might not make any concession affecting the Kingdom’s sovereignty and independence to keep its EBA and GSP statuses.
Meanwhile, early last week, the European Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia warned that the cancellation of the Kingdom’s EBA status would undermine EU’s investments, the EU business community and EU’s initiative of development in the country and affect livelihoods.