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Cambodia and EU Committee Talks Trade

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Jorge Dela Caballaria (R), head of the Unit Development Cooperation in South and South East Asia, speaks at the Foreign Affair Ministry yesterday. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The 9th session of the Cambodia-EU Joint Committee for bilateral cooperation to ensure the smooth operation and effective implement of trade and economic relations as well as the political development between the Kingdom and the EU is underway, and set to run until tomorrow.
The session is co-chaired by Ouch Borith, secretary of state of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and his EU counterpart, Deputy Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific at the European External Actions Service, Ugo Astuto.
“The EU financial and technical support of reformation programs for public financial management has resulted in the further enhancement of national mobilization, the improvement of public service delivery, maintenance of Cambodia’s financial management system and promotion of economic growth,” Mr. Borith said, adding that Cambodia welcomed the implementation of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) worth 10 million euros this year, which will go toward electoral reform in the Kingdom.
“Regarding the agriculture sector, Cambodia’s rice exports have increased from 340,000 tons in 2014 to 540, 000 tons in 2015,” Mr. Borith said, adding that the increase was achieved with the support of the EU.  
EU Ambassador to Cambodia George Edgar told Khmer Times that the 9th session is an opportunity for discussion at the senior level of all aspects of the bilateral relationship.
He added that one of the main topics of discussion will be the EU’s 410 million euro pledge to Cambodia that will be used for education, agriculture and natural resource management between 2014 and 2020.
Governance and administration, cooperation on issues related to governance and human rights, trade and investment will also be discussed.
He added that discussions at the plenary level will also cover political developments in Cambodia and the EU, climate change and sustainable development and regional issues.    
“The European Union is Cambodia’s largest export market,” Mr. Edgar said.
The joint committee was created under the 1999 cooperation agreement between Cambodia and the EU and takes place every two years, alternately in Phnom Penh and Brussels, Belgium.

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