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Cambodia Wants More Investment from EU

May Kunmakara / Khmer Times Share:

Cambodia would like to see more investment from the European Union to maintain growth in the economy, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Office of Council of Ministers Sok An has told the newly-appointed ambassador from the EU.
George Edgar, the EU’s new ambassador to Cambodia, met Mr. Sok An on Wednesday for talks. Mr. Sok An told Mr. Edgar that while the EU plays a critical role in taking agricultural exports from Cambodia, he wanted to see more investment in the Kingdom from the EU.
Mr. Sok An said the EU had been a good market for Cambodia’s agricultural products like milled rice and also garments and footwear, according to Ek Tha, the deputy director of the Press and Quick Reaction Unit for the Council of Ministers.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that with Cambodia’s great potential in the agricultural sector, the EU should come and invest or import more goods from Cambodia, and noted that recently Kampot pepper had been recognized as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) by the EU.
“The EU should encourage more firms and other industries to come and buy rubber and rice from Cambodia. We can produce rice and rubber, but we need more markets for those products,” said Mr. Sok An.
Mr. Edgar said he also sees the potential for agricultural products from Cambodia like Kampot pepper, which is a high quality product.
He also said he wanted to see Cambodia register its own trademark for milled rice with EU markets and to attract investors from the EU, as well as to export more milled rice to Europe.
He pointed out that the flow of investments from the EU to Cambodia is increasing, especially   from the United Kingdom.
As a less-developed country, Cambodia can enjoyed free export quotas and duties to EU markets under the Everything But Arms (EBA) initiative.
Mr. Hun Lak, Vice-President of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) told Khmer Times that the EU accounts for about 40 percent of Cambodia’s total rice exports. “The EU is still the biggest market for our milled rice exports,” he said.
Mr. Ek Tha said bilateral trade between Cambodia and the EU reached more than 3 billion Euros in 2014. Total direct investment from the EU to Cambodia between January and October 2015 was about $76 million, compared with $86 million in 2014.

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