Cambodia and South Korea yesterday discussed accelerating the implementation of agreements to attract more investment signed during a summit in Busan last month.
Cambodian Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn met yesterday with newly-appointed South Korean ambassador to Cambodia Park Heung-kyoeng.
“Both partners agreed to strengthen bilateral trade and investment, particularly in tourism, as previously agreed during the summit in Busan,” a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Koy Kuong said.
Mr Kuong said the Cambodian minister and the Korean ambassador agreed that the deals signed in Busan will attract investment into the Kingdom.
“These agreements will encourage Korean investors to do business in Cambodia,” he said.
On November 25, Cambodia and South Korea signed five agreements, including the launch of a joint study on the possibility of a free trade agreement.
The agreements were signed by Minister Sokhonn and his Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha on the sidelines of the Asean-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit and the First Mekong-ROK Summit in Busan city.
The five documents include the agreement on the Elimination of Double Tax and Income Tax and the Prevention of Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance and the Treaty on Mutual Assistance in the Criminal Sector.
The two countries also signed two memorandum of understanding on cooperation in agriculture and cooperation in technology, telecommunications and information.
Mr Kuong said these agreements will enhance trade, adding that the countries aim to reach $1 billion in bilateral trade by 2020.
“We can reach $1 billion [in trade]. We hope our agricultural goods will sell well in the Korean market as these products are also covered in the agreements,” he said.
From January to September, bilateral trade reached $700 million. South Korea has invested $4.47 billion in the Kingdom in the last 23 years, Mr Kuong noted.
According to Mr Kuong, the officials also discussed the tourism sector, Asean, the Mekong, and the situation in the Korean peninsula.
The Korean ambassador thanked the Cambodian government for supporting peace in the peninsula.
“The ambassador said Cambodia supports a peaceful and nuclear-weapons-free Korean peninsula,” he added
The Cambodian government advocates for calm in the issue of the Korean peninsula and has asked all involved to return to the negotiating table, Mr Kuong said.
Sok Touch, president of the Royal Academyof Cambodia, welcomed the new agreements and urged the Cambodian government to learn from South Korea’s experience.
“We can learn a lot from South Korea. The country used to be poor and torn by war but they have grown very fast. We can learn from them how to develop our human resources and our economy,” he said.
“Our good ties with South Korea give us the opportunity to strengthen our economy. We can export our mango, banana and papaya to the Korean market,” he said.