The Ministry of Tourism has announced that Cambodia and Azerbaijan have agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on tourist cooperation as they seek to enhance connectivity between the two countries in the near future.

The agreement came as minister Sok Soken met with non-resident Azerbaijan ambassador to Cambodia Shovgi Mehdizada on March 22 to discus fostering tourism cooperation between the two countries.

Chuk Chumnor, director-general of the ministry’s Tourism Development and International Cooperation department, said the envoy had expressed his admiration for the Kingdom’s tourism development.

He requested that the minister share Cambodia’s experiences through the Cambodia Tourism Marketing and Promotion Board, the National Institute of Tourism and the Professional School of Tourism.

Chumnor said both sides agreed in principle to ink a tourism cooperation MoU, though no specific details were immediately available.

“As 2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Cambodia- Azerbaijan diplomatic ties, the ambassador asked that the ministry examine the possibility of organising a celebration. He also suggested improving the flow of tourists between the two countries,” he continued.

Hong Vanak, an economist at the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, noted that Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic, borders Eastern Europe and West Asia. The country has registered remarkable growth, largely because of the progress of economic reforms since the country broke away from the Soviet Union.

“Its economy depends heavily on oil and gas exports. When it comes to tourism, this country has grown well. Besides cultural and historical tourism, nature tourism and agro-tourism also have notable potential. A good connection between the two countries is important if they were to foster cooperation,” he said.

Sok Chenda Sophea , Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, spoke highly of the 30th anniversary of Cambodia- Azerbaijan diplomatic ties when he met with the ambassador on March 21.

The two sides expressed satisfaction with their cordial relations and reaffirmed their commitment to further enhancing bilateral cooperation, as well as extending support to one another in the international arena for mutual benefit.

“Both the minister and his guest emphasised the need to intensify cooperation in the economic sector, notably through trade and investment, by exploring the possibility of reciprocal visits at the ministerial level in order to establish priority directions and potential spheres,” said a foreign ministry statement.

In June 2022, the foreign ministries of both nations held their third bilateral consultations in Azerbaijan. Cambodia is set to hold the fourth session this year “at an appropriate time”.