Cambodia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have reaffirmed their vows to support and expand cooperation in all fields, in a bid to boost investment and trade flows between the two countries.

This was revealed in a July 6 statement issued by the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce in conjunction with a virtual video conference between Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak and UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed al-Zeyoudi held two days earlier.

Despite Covid-19, bilateral trade between Cambodia and the UAE topped $151.547 million in 2021, up by more than 52.660 per cent from nearly $99.271 million a year earlier, according to a commerce ministry report provided to The Post.

Sorasak noted in the statement that the UAE is Cambodia’s 26th largest export market. Cambodian exports to the UAE comprise merchandise such as textile-related products like footwear and travel goods, bicycles, and milled rice, while imports include oils, animal feed, fertilisers, tobacco and ceramic products, he said.

According to the statement, al-Zeyoudi told the conference that Cambodia still holds considerable investment potential to boost economic growth in the longer term, which he suggested has fostered healthy trade cooperation between the two countries.

He said the UAE is committed to further enhancing bilateral trade and investment cooperation as well as diversifying the two countries’ export markets, in support of economic growth and regional and global competitiveness.

Cambodia and the UAE have begun discussions on the possibility of establishing a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) that covers key priority areas such as online and conventional trade in goods and services, investment, economic cooperation, and micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSME).

Last year, the Kingdom’s exports to the UAE clocked in at nearly $52.116 million, up by almost 18.927 per cent from just about $43.822 million in 2020, and imports passed $99.431 million, up by nearly 79.321 per cent from almost $55.449 million, the commerce ministry report indicated.

Cambodia’s trade deficit with the UAE expanded by almost 306.951 per cent to more than $47.315 million in 2021, from nearly $11.627 million a year earlier, the figures show.