Cambodia Tells Vietnam, Drop SPS Measures
Cambodia called on Vietnam yesterday to withdraw quarantine and biosecurity measures for its imports from the Kingdom to boost bilateral trade that is expected to grow to $5 billion.
“We want our trade flow [with Vietnam] to increase and also import and export tariffs to be reduced to zero. Most importantly we want Vietnam to do away with technical barriers against our exports, such as stringent sanitary and phytosanitary [SPS] measures to boost bilateral trade further,” said Secretary of State for Commerce Chhuon Dara at the Vietnamese Trade Fair 2016.
SPS measures are the World Trade Organization’s quarantine and biosecurity requirements to protect human and animal health from risks arising from the introduction of pests and diseases. It also prevents health risks arising from additives, toxins and contaminants in food and feed.
Mr. Dara said that bilateral trade between Cambodia and Vietnam was good and rising year-on-year. He pointed out that trade volume between both countries last year was about $4 billion and performance this year was encouraging.
“In the first six months of this year, alone, bilateral trade was more than $2 billion,” said Mr. Dara.
“I think that bilateral trade between Cambodia and Vietnam will soon reach $5 billion. Because of this, we have to ensure that barriers like SPS measures are removed,” he reiterated.
But Te Taing Por, president of the Federation of Association for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia (FASMEC), was less optimistic and pointed out that bilateral trade was actually a one-way flow.
“Vietnam does not respect the conditions of import and export. Vietnamese products easily enter Cambodia, but it is difficult to export Cambodian products to Vietnam. There seem to be lots of hurdles,” said Mr. Taing Por.
“Asean integration is just meant on paper, but its implementation from member states is different,” Mr. Taing Por said.
According to the 2015 blueprint of the Asean Economic Community, the region as a whole must become a single market and production base to produce and commercialize goods and services anywhere in the regional grouping.
In 2015 Cambodia’s exports to Vietnam were valued at $954 million, while the Kingdom imported $2.41 billion worth of goods from Vietnam.
Cambodia’s main exports to Vietnam are seafood, corn, dried tobacco, rubber, paddy rice and cashew nuts. Vietnam’s exports to Cambodia include steel, confectionary items and cereal products, garments, products derived from rubber, vegetables and fruit, paper, metal, machinery parts, vehicles and spare parts.
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