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Qatar begins talks on new investment

May Kunmakara / Khmer Times Share:
Traditional dhows in front of the West Bay skyline as seen from the Corniche, in Doha, Qatar. wikimedia/StellarD

Qatar and Cambodia have begun talks to sign two draft agreements aimed at expanding trade and investment between the two countries.

Qatari Ambassador Mohamed Ismail Al Emadi told Cambodia’s acting Commerce Minister Kem Sithan in a meeting yesterday that since trade and investment exchanges between the two countries are small, both countries will need the draft agreements, entitled Economic, Trade and Technical Cooperation and the Agreement on Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments.

Mr Mohamed said these agreements are needed to be finalised in order to strengthen investor confidence.

“Qatar is aiming to import more agricultural products from Cambodia to supply markets,” he said. “[Qatar] plans to invite senior Cambodian officials to attend a joint committee [meeting] of Qatar and Cambodia, which will take place on September 11 to 12, 2019 in Qatar.”

According to Mr Sithan, he had requested Mr Mohamed to increase the import of agricultural goods from Cambodia, particularly fragrant rice. He also said he wanted Qataris to visit Cambodia to explore investments in the sectors of tourism and culture because Cambodia is rich in natural and historical tourist attraction areas.

In turn, Mr Sithan pledged to speed up the drafting of the two agreements and requested Mr Mohamed to organise a business visit and forum for both chambers of commerce to explore investment and partnership opportunities.

During the last three years, bilateral trade volume between both Kingdoms reached $2 million. In the first six months of last year, trade reached $1.66 million, while in the whole years of 2016 and 2017, trade between Qatar and Cambodia reached $1.53 million and $1.67 million, respectively.

Last week, the National Assembly approved an agreement called the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments with Qatar’s neighbour, the United Arab Emirates, to strengthen economic relations.

So far, Cambodia has signed the reciprocal promotion and protection of the investments agreement with 27 countries.

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