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China-Cambodia FTA signing may be inked by late August

Harrison White / Khmer Times Share:
Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with visiting Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in Beijing in 2019. Supplied

The exact date for the signing of the China-Cambodia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) continues to remain unclear as senior officials speculate to Khmer Times that the agreement could be inked in Beijing later this month.

The new timeframe for the signing comes after the original scheduled date of August 12, to be held in Beijing, was not met.

While no specific reasons have been given for the delay, it is understood that a Cambodian delegation was sent last week to China to finalise the trade talks.

“We are waiting for the public announcement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before an exact date for the signing can be given,” the Ministry of Commerce told Khmer Times today.

The FTA would list around 340 more commodities to be exported to China under the agreement.

Most of the products are in agriculture and agro-processing and are in addition to what Cambodia has received from the Asean-China FTA, the Ministry of Commerce said.

The 340 products will includ iems such as pepper, chillis, pineapples, vegetables, fruit, fish, meat (including processed), grain, crabs, seafood and a variety of canned products.

Among the additional 340 commodities in the Cambodia-China FTA, 95 percent of them will be untaxed. Taxes will be dropped on the remaining five percent in at least 10 years.

The FTA is also expected to spur agro processing and investments in this sector by Chinese and other companies to capitalise on the agreement’s benefits.

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