Prime Minister Hun Sen has asked researchers and academics to urgently study global issues surrounding possible international trade wars to prevent any impact on Cambodia.
The request was made yesterday during a speech for Deputy Prime Ministers Men Sam An and Bin Chhin, Minister for Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth, Industry Minister Cham Brasith and Keat Chhon who were receiving royal titles from the King.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Hun Sen said researchers at the Royal Academy of Cambodia must study the issue.
“A new situation about trade wars has blown up suddenly,” Mr Hun Sen said, referring to trade tension between the United States and fellow Group of Seven member countries in Canada early this month.
China and the US are also close to a trade war with threats on both sides of escalating trade tariffs.
On Monday, President Donald Trump told officials to draw up plans for tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports if China strikes back against US duties on imports.
The US also faces a trade war with Canada and Europe over tariffs on aluminium and steel. There are fears the world economy would suffer if trade wars erupted.
“So, what is the impact of this issue for Cambodia and our region?” Mr Hun Sen asked.
He said he considered trade wars to be a lose-lose game which would risk a global fall in trade.
Royal Academy president Sok Touch said the university would submit the result of its research to the government and relevant ministries to take action.
He said that normally all countries in the globalised economy would be affected by a trade war.
Chan Sophal, director of the Centre of Policy Studies, said Cambodia could benefit from the trade divergence effect of the new tariffs.
Cambodia could sell more agricultural products to China and could buy cheaper steel from China.
However, the second wave effect of the resulting economic slowdown in China and the US could cause less demand for consumption of Cambodian products and possibly less investment in Cambodia, he said.