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Cambodia seeks Russia’s help for free-trade agreement 

Sorn Sarath / Khmer Times Share:
A crane picks a container up from a truck in Sihanoukville Autonomous Port. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodian government is seeking support from Russia to push the Cambodia- Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) free-trade agreement in order to expand trade volume and economic cooperation between Cambodia and the bloc.

The call was made during a meeting between Cambodia Ministry of Commerce’s Secretary of State Tek Reth Kamrong and Dmitry Tsvetkov, Russian ambassador to Cambodia.

Reth Kamrong said that Cambodia will also ask for a third meeting between Cambodia’s working group and the Europe Economy Committee (EEC) via videoconference in July.

“Because of the pandemic spread, many countries have instituted prudential measures to contain the virus, including avoiding travelling and huge gatherings, so we will ask for a videoconference meeting to push the negotiation process,” she said.

The EAEU is home to 183 million people and represents a combined GDP of about $5 trillion. The bloc has five member states: Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Cambodia is closer to inking trade deals with developed economies despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Commerce has mandated different groups to be in charge of the trade negotiations with each potential partner.

The minister of commerce on Wednesday had a meeting to examine the working group’s progress.
Pan Sorasak said that the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement is progressing well, while the discussions between Cambodia- and South Korea are getting fruitful.

“The trade integration is to expend and open the door to access more markets based on free-trade agreements rather than rely on bilateral trade exemptions that are easy to lose in one day,” he said.

The free-trade agreement negotiations between Cambodia, South Korea, China and the EAEU – a huge free-trade bloc led by Russia – have suffered no setbacks.

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