Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - FTA with EAEU bloc may diversify export market

FTA with EAEU bloc may diversify export market

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Kingdom’s garment and footwear sectors would gain a new market if an FTA is signed, Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia secretary-general Ken Loo said on Thursday. POST PIX

FTA with EAEU bloc may diversify export market

As the government moves to a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), garment and rice industry insiders expect the new trade corridor to diversify the Kingdom’s export market.

The Ministry of Commerce on Wednesday released a report on the results of its assessment of a potential FTA deal between Cambodia and the EAEU.

Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia secretary-general Ken Loo told The Post on Thursday that the Kingdom’s garment and footwear sectors would gain a new market if an FTA is signed.

“We will have duty-free access to exports, but we don’t know when we’ll reach the FTA. That is all I can say,” he said.

Cambodia Rice Federation vice-president Chan Sokheang said the agreement will boost the competitiveness of the Kingdom’s export-rice processing industry among its neighbours.

“Our export market will grow further and will not rely on just the European and Chinese markets. We have to open up more markets.

“Today, our premium varieties of rice are in very fierce competition with those of our neighbouring countries. The agreement will allow us to boost our competitiveness,” he said.

Speaking at the report launch ceremony, Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak said the benefits of the FTA noted in the study include industrial diversification and expansion of financial services, transport, digital economy and agricultural services.

“An FTA will enable the two parties to increase economic cooperation, trade in goods, services and investment.

“We expect to increase trade and investment opportunities and mutual investment. Cambodia can increase its garments and textiles exports, agricultural products and other goods,” he said.

The EAEU is an economic bloc covering Eastern Europe and comprises five countries – Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. The bloc has a combined population of 176 million and posted a gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion in 2016, Sorasak said.

Last month, Prime Minister Hun Sen discussed the agreement with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during the 14th East Asia Summit in Thailand.

Speaking at the Asean Business and Investment Summit last month, Medvedev said as the EAEU had signed an FTA deal with Vietnam in 2015 and with Singapore on October 1, it is currently in talks with “other partners in Asean” about possible FTAs as well, Singapore’s The Straits Times reported.

He also called for joint efforts with Asean to tackle monopolies by high-tech companies to allow a “healthy competition and the introduction of new promising ideas”, The Straits Times said.

Ministry of Commerce secretary of state Tek Reth Kamrong told reporters in March that the EAEU has provided tariff-free access for 46 Cambodian made products for three years due to the Kingdom’s Least Developed Countries (LDC) classification.

Though preferential status will last until Cambodia has graduated from its LDC rank, Reth Kamrong said the negotiation for an FTA deal with the bloc is a good initiative.

EAEU tariff preferences granted to Cambodian goods include rice, silk, textiles, meat, vegetables and coffee.

Garment, textile and footwear industry exports rose 13.18 per cent year-on-year during the first nine months of this year to more than $7.973 billion, data from the General Department of Customs and Excise shows.


  • First Khmer woman to pass out of West Point

    The life of a soldier certainly isn’t for everyone. The training is gruelling, the hours long and there’s no room for excuses. On top of that, soldiers must be ready to respond to sudden threats at a moment’s notice. Just ask Sithyka

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • Deminers unearth ancient lion statue

    Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on Tuesday that a statue of a lion was found by mine clearance experts while they were digging for a development project. It was sent to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts last