Cambodia and Saudi Arabia have formally announced their intention to enhance bilateral cooperation, particularly on trade, investment and energy, following a meeting between the leaders of the two Kingdoms.

Prime Minister Hun Manet met for talks with his Saudi counterpart Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman on October 20, on the sidelines of the ASEAN-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Manet’s social media post said that Bin Salman offered his congratulations to Manet for assuming the office of prime minister. He also highlighted potential forward-looking relations between the two kingdoms, particularly in essential sectors such as commerce, investment and energy, which will serve the mutual interests of the two countries and peoples.

Manet congratulated Saudi Arabia for hosting the first ASEAN-GCC summit, and spoke highly of the progress of bilateral relations, describing Saudi Arabia’s decision to open an embassy in Phnom Penh as testament to that progress.

“Both prime ministers affirmed their commitment to strengthening and expanding bilateral relations. They agreed to form a bilateral mechanism to discuss closer cooperation on trade and investment, as well as other sectors which could reap mutual benefits,” the post said.

Trade volume between the two countries remains small, although it is increasing year-on-year. It increased from $19 million in 2020 to $26 million in 2021, although 2022 figures were not yet available.

Earlier this year, Saudi ambassador to Cambodia Mohammed Ismaeil A Dahlwy paid a courtesy call on several high ranking Cambodian officials, pledging to open an embassy in Phnom Penh by year’s end to strengthen the bilateral relationship.