Cambodia pushes for FTA talks with potential partners hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: Khmer Times)
Phnom Penh (VNA) – The Cambodian government is pushing for free-trade agreement (FTA) talks with potential partners while seeking Russia’s help for a Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) free trade agreement, local media reported.

The Cambodian Ministry of Commerce’s Secretary of State Tek Reth Kamrong said during her recent meeting with Russian Ambassador to Cambodia Dmitry Tsvetkov that Cambodia will ask for a third meeting between Cambodia’s working group and the Europe Economy Committee (EEC) via videoconference next July, according to the Khmer Times.

The EAEU is home to 183 million people and represents a combined GDP of about 5 trillion USD. The bloc has five member states - Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Cambodia is closer to inking trade deals with developed economies despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the newspaper said.

Cambodian Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak had a meeting with the Ministry’s policy and strategy maker for FTAs to examine the working group’s progress on May 13.

Pan Sorasak said that the Cambodia-China FTA is progressing well, while the Cambodia- Korea talks are bearing fruit. The government has empowered the ministry to strengthen Cambodia’s competitiveness and trade and economy diversification via promoting FTAs.

Seang Thay, a spokesperson at the Ministry of Commerce, said the negotiations with the EAEU may take longer than agreements country by country.

Cambodia started to study the benefit of FTAs with the EAUE in 2016 and have formed working groups to exchange information but the process is too slow because the bloc needs to be united. Cambodia has already exported some goods to the EAEU but Cambodia needs to negotiate for more access to the bloc, according to Seang Thay.

The Cambodian Ministry of Commerce has established eight different groups to be in charge of the trade negotiations with each potential partner, including working groups in charge of trade talks with China, the Republic of Korea, the UK, the EAUE, the US, Japan, Mongolia and India./.