China, Cambodia sign free trade agreement hinh anh 1A vendor carries fruit for sale in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia. (Photo: www.globaltimes.cn/)

Hanoi (VNA) - China and Cambodia signed a free trade agreement (FTA) in Phnom Penh on October 12, with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attending the signing ceremony.

The FTA, Cambodia's first such bilateral deal, was completed after just three rounds of talks that started in January and finished in July. It was signed virtually by Cambodia's Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak and his Chinese counterpart Zhong Shan.

Covering a wide range of cooperation areas of investment, trade, tourism, transportation and agriculture, the deal is aimed at slashing tariffs and boosting market access between the two countries.

“The signing of the agreement signifies even stronger ties between the two countries and marks another key historical milestone for Cambodia China relations,” Pan Sorasak said at the signing ceremony.

He hoped the agreement, to come into effect early next year, would provide a more robust economic partnerships through a higher degree of market access, liberalisation for goods, services and investment.

Currently, Cambodia's domestic demand is gradually recovering. In the October 2020 update report on the economic outlook for East Asia and the Pacific, announced on September 29, the World Bank (WB) predicted that Cambodia's economy will decline by 2 percent in 2020.

A report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) expected the Cambodian economy to recover with a 5.9 percent growth in 2021./.
VNA