Having achieved a significant measure of success in formulating and implementing trade strategies funded by the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), Cambodia has been selected to share its experience in integrating good trade practices during a two-day event in Phnom Penh.
The EIF board meeting started yesterday and is being attended by representatives of Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the EIF donor community and EIF core agencies.
Participants expect to learn from Cambodia’s experience in mobilising and utilising EIF funds and trade-related technical assistance to alleviate poverty, promote growth and achieve sustainable development.
Since 2001, Cambodia has received about $8 million from the EIF to boost its trading capabilities, particularly in the areas of product and service development, export facilitation and promotion, infrastructure, food safety and sanitary and phytosanitary measures.
The EIF is a global development programme that aims to support LDCs to better integrate into the global trade market and to make trade a driver for development.
“We are here to learn from Cambodia’s own experience. Cambodia has been a beneficiary of the EIF since 2001 and the country has always been amongst the EIF champions,” said Eloi Laourou, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Benin in Geneva and chairman of the EIF board.
Beginning with trade mainstreaming and institutional capacity-building through a trade sector-wide approach to export development and expansion, Cambodia has achieved tremendous results on trade and development, Mr Laourou said.
“Cambodia is an excellent example of a success story in terms of how this tool can be used to support and to promote trade and development, to create jobs and to combat poverty, so we appreciate this highly.”
Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak noted that the EIF provided the kingdom with clear guidance and vision to strengthen the country’s trade sector and achieve sustainable and equitable growth.
“Being an LDC leader in trade integration, we are constantly looking for the next challenge in the trade sector so that we can ask the EIF for support,” Mr Sorasak said.
“Cambodia has received help to promote the silk, hospitality, seafood and garment sectors,” he added.
The EIF programme in Cambodia focuses on milled rice, high quality silk, cassava, fish products and the hospitality sector. The latter recently benefited from the creation of the Academy of Culinary Arts Cambodia last year.
George Edgar, the European Union Ambassador to Cambodia who spoke during the event, said the EU was proud of Cambodia for its use of resources made available by the EIF and for becoming a member of the World Trade Organization.