Cambodia trade with UK thriving

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
British Trade Envoy Lord Puttnam (left) with Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn. KT/Mai Vireak

Cambodia and the United Kingdom enjoy a thriving trade relation driven by increasing demand for Cambodian products in the UK, the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce said.

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Bilateral trade increased from $500 million in 2012 to over $1 billion in 2018, Acting Minister of Commerce Kem Sithan revealed on Tuesday during a meeting in Phnom Penh with UK’s Air Vice-Marshal John Philliban.

Mr Sithan asked the UK to continue supporting Cambodian products.

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Ministry spokesman Seang Thay told Khmer Times that trade will continue to increase in the near future.

He said Cambodia exported about $500 million worth of goods to the UK in the first six months of 2018. Imports from the UK during the same period were valued at $22 million, he said.

With Brexit looming, the two countries are now striving to redefine their trade relation, he said.

“I don’t know the effect Brexit will have on Cambodian-UK trade, but I hope it is not significant because our relation with the UK is improving every year,” he said.

Cambodia has already started bilateral negotiations with the UK, according to Mr Thay.

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“When the UK leaves the EU, the EBA (Everything-but-arms scheme) will no longer apply, but the UK will continue providing preferential access to Cambodia,” Mr Thay said.

“The UK is a developed country, and under WTO rules, 97 to 98 percent of exports should be duty-free.”

Cambodia mainly exports garment and footwear, milled rice, and bicycles to the UK.

In 2017 bilateral trade increased by 5 percent, reaching $1.4 billion. Cambodia exported $1.14 billion worth of goods to the UK.

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