Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia-China FTA within reach

Cambodia-China FTA within reach

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The June 16 meeting will be attended by Cambodian members of the committee through video conference. The Chinese committee will be led by State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (far left). Hong Menea

Cambodia-China FTA within reach

The Cambodia-China Intergovernmental Coordination Committee will meet on June 16 to discuss the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries and generate ideas about how to restore the Cambodian economy once the Covid-19 pandemic has abated.

Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong announced the new agenda at an internal meeting on Monday with the committee at the Office of the Council of Ministers.

He said the June 16 meeting will be attended by Cambodian members of the committee through video conference. The Chinese committee will be led by State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi.

Namhong said: “The meeting will discuss the past and future of Cambodia-China cooperation and how we will work together to restore Cambodia’s economy post-Covid-19.”

The Cambodia-China FTA is expected to be finalised this month.

Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak led a working group meeting in mid-May to prepare policies and strategies to negotiate the FTA.

He said bilateral agreements with partner countries are central to the ministry’s efforts to improve competitiveness and trade diversification and noted that FTAs are necessary to integrate the country into the regional and global economy.

“These deals are aimed at broadening and opening up access to markets for a wide range of exports,” said Sorasak.

Ministry spokesman Seang Thay told The Post on Tuesday that the inter-ministerial committee in charge of negotiations is working on finishing the FTA and that there will be an update after the June 16 meeting.

Royal Academy of Cambodia economics researcher Hong Vanak said: “I think this debate will boost Cambodia’s economic growth if we can finalise this free trade agreement.”

Although Cambodia is a developing country, he said, it is capable of exporting agricultural products to the Chinese market, including milled rice, mangoes, pepper, rubber and cashew nuts.

Vanak said: “China sees Cambodia as a goods storage facility with exporting potential to ASEAN members. We have to select the essential products for the country’s needs.”

Cambodia’s total import and export volume was valued at $36.7 billion last year, data from the National Bank of Cambodia show.

Exports amounted to $14.53 billion and imports $22.19 billion, a year-on-year increase of 12.7 per cent and 18.6 per cent, respectively.

However, the Kingdom’s trade deficit with the rest of the world continued to widen last year, when it hit $7.66 billion, a 31.6 per cent increase compared to 2018.


  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the