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China – Cambodia signed a free trade agreement


China and Cambodia signed a free trade agreement after less than a year of negotiation, aiming to cut taxes and boost bilateral market access.

Chinese Foreign Minister Vuong Nghi and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and the two countries’ trade ministers today witnessed the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) broadcast live online. Mr. Vuong arrived in Cambodia yesterday for a visit to broadcast a signal of the growing close relationship between the two countries.

Under the agreement, which started being negotiated late last year, the two countries will cut taxes on products in areas such as trade, tourism and agriculture.

Mr. Hun Sen appreciated the agreement, saying that it has great economic and political significance, while Mr. Vuong Nghi said that signing the FTA radiates strong signals and helps Cambodia solve the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (left) and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh today. Image: AFP.

“The signing of the agreement demonstrates a stronger relationship between the two countries and marks another important milestone for Cambodia’s relations with China,” Cambodia Trade Minister Pan Sorasak said at the meeting. ceremony.

According to Mr. Pan, the agreement he hopes to come into effect early next year, “will deliver stronger economic partnerships through the level of market access, the liberalization of goods, services, and investment. investment higher “.

No details have been provided on the deal and it is currently unclear how it will impact the existing trade deal between China and ASEAN to which Cambodia is a member.

The deal could be a “boost” for Cambodia, which last year partially suspended special trade incentives with the European Union (EU), a key market for its exports. The EU’s move includes re-imposing tariffs on certain apparel and footwear items, which are central to Cambodia’s manufacturing sector and economy.

Cambodia, one of Asia’s poorest countries, has been a key ally to China in recent years and is believed to have repeatedly supported Beijing’s stance in exchange for economic assistance. Cambodia denied this accusation, asserting that its foreign policy was not influenced by China.

Huyen Le (Follow Reuters)

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