Cambodia and Bangladesh will sign two new memorandums of understandings (MoU) aimed at boosting trade between the two nations.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, the two countries will soon sign an MoU on the specifics of the joint trade council and on revamping a bilateral trade agreement that expired last year.
Speaking during a meeting last week with Saida Muna Tasneem, Bangladesh’s ambassador to Cambodia and Thailand, Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak said the two MoUs will be signed during the official visit of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Cambodia in October.
Ms Tasneem asked Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce to hold a business dialogue forum with the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), an initiative he believes will foster trade partnerships and investment opportunities between the nations.
Soeng Sophary, a spokesperson at the Ministry of Commerce, said trade between the nations has been sluggish and he hopes the new agreements on trade will help increase commercial activity between the nations.
“The amount of bilateral trade is not really increasing at the moment, but we hope these new agreements will remedy this. We call that a win-win approach,” Ms Sophary said.“Bangladesh and Cambodia share LDCs [less developed country] status. We need each other, despite being competitors in the garment sector.
“We can greatly benefit from a closer relationship with Bangladesh – an example of this is the deal we reached recently on rice,” Ms Sophary added.
Under a recent agreement, Bangladesh will import one million tonnes of milled rice from Cambodia during the next five years starting in 2017.
The kingdom will export 250,000 tons of milled rice – 200,000 tonnes of white rice and 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice – each year. An agreement on trade and investment between Cambodia and Bangladesh was signed in 2004, but trade volumes between both nations have only experienced moderate growth since then.