FTA, RCEP key driver for Cambodia’s post-COVID-19 economic growth hinh anh 1Delegates attended the 2020 RCEP meeting in November (Photo: VNA)

Phnom Penh (VNA) – The recently-signed Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade pact are expected to be a key driver to reboot Cambodia's economic growth in the post-COVID-19 era.

Cambodia signed the bilateral FTA with China on October 12 and the RCEP trade pact with 14 other Asia-Pacific countries on November 15.

Spokesman for the Cambodian government Phay Siphan said the two pacts will greatly contribute to boosting Cambodia's economy and improving the people's livelihoods when they enter into force.

The two agreements show the countries’ unity towards a community of common destiny, he said in a recent interview with China’s Xinhua news agency, adding that they will provide Cambodia greater market access with no tariff barriers.

Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce secretary of state and spokesman Seang Thay said through the two trade deals, the ties in economics, trade and investment between Cambodia and China as well as other RCEP countries would be further broadened.

Affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Cambodia's economy in 2020 is projected to register its slowest growth since 1994.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth said the growth would shrink by 1.9 percent this year, making the gross domestic product (GDP) value worth 27.6 billion USD.

The ADB forecasts better growth for Cambodia in 2021, saying that the country’s growth would expand by 5.9 percent./.