Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - China trade deal expected to come into force Jan 1

China trade deal expected to come into force Jan 1

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodia on May 7 shipped 100 tonnes of fresh mangoes to China, in the Kingdom's inaugural direct export of the fruit to the East Asian market. POST STAFF

China trade deal expected to come into force Jan 1

The Kingdom expects the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) to come into force on January 1, after an expert committee of the National Assembly (NA) endorsed a draft law on the deal’s ratification.

The next step will be for the NA to review the document.

Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak on July 8 led an inter-ministerial delegation to a meeting led by Nin Saphon, chairwoman of the NA’s 9th Commission, to defend the document, as well as the Draft Law on Competition.

The minister highlighted the CCFTA’s weighty role in the implementation of the Rectangular Strategy Phase IV of the government of the sixth legislature of the NA, in accordance with the fourth point on strengthening Cambodia’s capacity to continue its integration into the regional and global economies.

“In the context of the crisis brought on by the infectious Covid-19 disease, these two laws will support the strategy to rehabilitate the Cambodian economy, which has been severely affected by the pandemic, as well as help to strengthen socio-economic immunity in the new normalisation of Cambodian society through the growth of exports to the Chinese market and the flow of investment into Cambodia, which will help create jobs and income for our people,” he said.

Most of Cambodia’s imports to China are agricultural products, while imported products include machinery, construction materials and electronics.

Saphon expressed her full support for the two draft laws and commended the CCFTA negotiating team for their efforts in successfully concluding talks on the trade deal.

She said she expects the two pieces of legislation to be approved and enter into force on January 1.

The CCFTA was signed by Sorasak and his Chinese counterpart Zhong Shan via video link on October 12, with Prime Minister Hun Sen and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi as witnesses.

The Cambodian commerce ministry previously claimed that the CCFTA would provide the Kingdom duty-free access to over 300 items.

China would grant duty-free status to 95 per cent of agricultural imports from Cambodia, it said.

Ministry spokesman Seang Thay told The Post early this month that once the CCFTA is ratified by both countries, Cambodia expects to receive a litany of benefits, such as access to a wider market.

He noted, however, that China will accord duty-free status to more imports from Cambodia than the Kingdom will to those from the East Asian economy.

Other perks include a freer flow of goods and additional opportunities to attract foreign investment to Cambodia, as well as a shot in the arm for Cambodian agricultural exports to the Chinese market, he said.

“This agreement will play a large role in stimulating domestic production, especially in some agricultural segments such as bananas, mangoes, cassava, longan, cashew nuts and so on,” Thay said.

Cambodia and China plan to boost bilateral trade to $10 billion by 2023.

However, largely due to Covid-19, bilateral trade between Cambodia and China fell 5.2 per cent last year over 2019, to $8.11807 billion, according to the ministry.

Of that, the Kingdom’s exports were to the tune of $1.08626 billion, up by 8.11 per cent, as imports reached $7.03181 billion, down by 6.97 per cent.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro