The Korea-ASEAN Friendship Association (KAFA) on October 26 hosted a symposium at the South Korean National Assembly (NA) on Cambodian-Korean cooperation in the context of the evolving configurations of global automotive value chains, with a focus on the auto parts industry, according to

The symposium highlighted structural changes deemed necessary in Cambodian industry, such as a shift away from labour-intensive industries like those related to textiles, towards more technologically-advanced ones such as auto parts.

Participants also explored ways to promote growth in Korean companies through cooperation between Cambodia and South Korea, the online news outlet said, without offering more concrete details.

The event was attended by NA member Ha Young-jae, who represents Namhae county in South Gyeongsang province’s Sacheon city, and representatives of KAFA, the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade, Korea Automobile Parts Association, and the local universities of Daelim, Kangwon, Konkuk and Sookmyung, reported

A ramp-up in Cambodian-South Korean cooperation in the auto parts segment and broader automotive industry could offer many economic diversification possibilities in the Kingdom, particularly in the realm of exports. And with South Korea’s ratification of a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) last month, commercial transactions between the two Asian nations are expected to receive a considerable leg-up.

Under the CKFTA, coupled with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Kingdom will lift tariffs on 93.8 per cent of goods traded, with South Korea scrapping duties on 95.6 per cent, according to the Yonhap News Agency. Ministry of Commerce undersecretary of state Penn Sovicheat has also noted that the CKFTA will provide more than 10,000 Cambodian items duty-free access to South Korea.

Bilateral trade between the two countries reached $818.157 million in the first nine months of this year, up 13.82 per cent year-on-year, according to the Korea International Trade Association (KITA). Cambodian exports came to $310.166 million, up 19.59 per cent, and imports $507.991 million, up 10.57 per cent.

Of note, the Kingdom’s trade deficit with South Korea for the January-September period contracted by 1.13 per cent, from $200.079 million to $197.825 million.