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Cambodia to explore FTA with Japan

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Cambodia is exploring the possibility of establishing a Free Trade Agreement with Japan.


This was conveyed to the Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu when he visited Cambodia in the 3rd week of August.

This was said by Prime Minister Hun Sen when he chaired the Cabinet Meeting last Friday.

He added that Cambodia as well as Asean member states have yet to maximise the benefits from its regional trade framework and this must be further improved to gain advantages t from the regional trade with China, South Korea, Japan and other countries.

“We have not done enough. We did a tittle concerning the regional trade frameworks. I have suggested to the visiting Japanese foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu   recently that, both countries should do free trade agreement.

PM Hun Sen recalled that Japan’s outgoing Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe is close to him since they both knew each other since 2001 to 2007. Abe is an active prime minister and he will resign due to his poor health.

The premier also called for a speedy process of negotiations in the context of RCEP, although without India, given the fact that such RCEP market is too big that includes South Korea, New Zealand, among others.

“We must work to take advantage from such market in the bloc. I am asking the minister of commerce to speed up the process so that we can export more Cambodia’s products to overseas market.”

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, and four of ASEAN’s FTA partners—Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea.

RCEP negotiations were formally launched in November 2012 at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia. In 2018, the 16 negotiating parties accounted for about half of the world’s population and 39% of the world’s GDP. Without India, the 15 negotiating parties account for 30% of the world’s population and just under 30% of the world’s GDP.

The Cambodia-Japan trade volume decreases slightly by 3.7 percent to $1.01 Billion in H1, 2020.

Figures from the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), from January to June shows that Cambodia exported $791.6 million worth of products to this northeastern Asian market, a year-on-year decrease 0.2 percent.

At the same time, Cambodia spent $218.6 million buying products from Japan, a 14.6 percent decrease.

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