Ukraine Eyes Cambodia

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Ukraine aims to promote more bilateral cooperation and boost trade with Cambodia. At the same time, Kiev is urging Ukrainian businesses to consider investing in the Kingdom’s high performing sectors.
“Ukraine will work with Cambodia to reach an agreement on economic cooperation, and cooperation in science and technology by the end of 2016,” said Oleksiy Shovkoplias, ambassador of Ukraine to Cambodia, last Friday.
At a meeting with Tekreth Kamrang, secretary of state of the Commerce Ministry, Mr. Shovkoplias also said that Ukraine had expertise in aeronautical engineering, electricity production, electronics, information technology and medicine, and was willing to technically assist Cambodia in these areas.
“We plan to mobilize investors from our country to come to Cambodia to see for themselves the potential sectors where they can invest and also form joint ventures with local Cambodian businesses,” said Mr. Shovkoplias.
During the meeting, Ms. Kamrang pointed out Cambodia’s strategic geographical location in the Mekong region and said it was well suited for large investment projects.
She said the potential areas for investment from Ukraine could be in the agriculture, construction, tourism and manufacturing sectors ‒ which are the main pillars of Cambodia’s economy.
Ms. Kamrang also requested Ukraine to consider buying more of the Kingdom’s agricultural products to increase bilateral trade volume.
Commerce Ministry spokeswoman Soeng Sophary, told Khmer Times yesterday that bilateral trade between Ukraine and Cambodia was not big, compared to neighboring countries.
“Generally we are members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), so currently we are trading according to WTO principles,” she said.
So far, trade between Ukraine and Cambodia has developed unevenly and the main barriers are low purchasing powers in both countries and limited bilateral political dialogue.
Ms. Sophary, however, said both Cambodia and Ukraine were willing to change the current status quo.
“There is goodwill on both sides to boost bilateral trade and have more political dialogue with each other,” she said.
According to the State Statistical Service of Ukraine, in 2014, trade turnover between Ukraine and Cambodia reached $14.78 million ‒ 3.4 percent higher than in 2013.
Ukraine’s exports to Cambodia include machinery and equipment, and petroleum products. Cambodia exports mainly garments, footwear, textiles, paints and varnishes, and bicycles to Ukraine.
The European Union is Ukraine’s largest trading partner, accounting for more than 40 percent of its trade in 2015.

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