Following discussions on the opportunities of a bilateral trade cooperation framework, Cambodia and Italy announced their commitment to strengthen investment relations, as trade between the two has grown to more than $400 million this year.

The pledge came during a meeting between acting Minister of Commerce Kem Sithon and newly appointed Italian ambassador to Cambodia Paolo Dionisi, who resides in the Thai capital Bangkok.

Sithon stressed the importance of the friendship between the two countries and thanked Italy for its support in the development of many important areas, including Covid-19 vaccine donations through the EU Civil Defense Mechanism and the COVAX initiative.

“These activities have contributed to the Kingdom’s economic development. Cambodia is committed to working closely with the ambassador during his mandate,” he said.

In response, Dionisi thanked the ministry for its work to promote future trade between the two nations.

He expressed his optimism that Italian businesspeople and investors would visit Cambodia to learn more about the economic opportunities it offers.

Dionisi also congratulated the Kingdom on its selection as the best milled rice in the world at the recent World Rice Forum.

“Italy intends to provide assistance for the preservation of temples in the Angkor area and Phnom Penh. We have also requested further cooperation into examining the possibility of signing a memorandum of understanding between the two sides,” he added.

According to the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE), from January to November this year, trade between Italy and the Kingdom reached $409.34 million, an increase of 36.67 per cent over the same period in 2021.

Cambodia predominantly exported consumer goods such as clothing and footwear to Italy, while importing Italian cosmetics, industrial textile machinery and automotives.