The Cambodian Embassy in South Korea held a forum in Seoul last week to promote a new free trade agreement (FTA) between Cambodia and South Korea.
The delegation was led by Minister of Commerce Phan Sorasak and Sok Chenda Sophia, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister and Secretary General of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).
Sorasaku is Korea Times An FTA would establish a more organized approach between South Korea and Cambodia, building on existing friendships that have existed for decades, the report said.
“The two countries have different levels of development and we believe they complement each other in economy and development. Cambodia is a developing country with abundant natural resources that need to be explored. On the other hand, South Korea has advanced technology and is very advanced in many fields such as agricultural processing, automobiles, electronics, etc. Cambodia needs to be processed by Korean companies and exported domestically and around the world. We can provide natural resources,” he said.
He said the Kingdom could play a key role in regional supply chains with geographic centrality.
“We are promoting regional supply capacity and supply chain resilience. ASEAN is integrated as the ASEAN Economic Community, and South Korea, which trades with Cambodia, is actually part of a larger supply chain. “South Korea is investing in its neighbors Vietnam and Thailand. So we can work and supply as part of a larger overall supply chain within ASEAN. , with Cambodia as a hub, we can cooperate with other ASEAN countries.”
During the forum, the CDC Executive Director introduced the new Cambodian Investment Law.
“All of this makes us think about new laws that adapt to the new situation. The situation is changing and evolving every day, but at least our new law is trying to adapt to the new situation,” Sophia said. said. Korea Times.
Compared to the old law, which incentivized production activities, the new law will incentivize services such as logistics, which have been Cambodia’s weak points, he said.
The CDC secretary said friendly relations between South Korea and Cambodia could encourage more South Korean companies to invest in Cambodia and vice versa.
“If there is a problem between the two governments, people from one country will not do business with the other. (South Korea and Cambodia) are getting closer and closer each year. Cambodia is the largest recipient of South Korea’s ODA (Official Development Assistance), demonstrating the South Korean government’s interest in and contribution to Cambodia’s development,” he said.
“We anticipate that South Korean companies that have experienced turmoil due to Covid or geopolitical reasons may consider relocating. We ask that you turn your attention to Cambodia,” said Sophia.
“In December 2022, the government adopted a roadmap for the development of the automotive and electronics sectors. We hope Korean companies in these sectors will consider that Cambodia has laid the groundwork for their activities. ‘, he explained.
At the same meeting, Cambodian Ambassador to South Korea Chring Botum Rangsay said she was involved in negotiating an FTA that had special meaning to her.
“One of my ambitions is to start this FTA by holding this forum to share information and attract public interest from both sides. We want to build a network to continue executing investment deals,” Chring said.
Meanwhile, during a meeting last week with Yu Jeoung Yeol, president and chief executive officer of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Corporation (KOTRA) at KOTRA headquarters in Seoul, Sorasak told South Korean companies that they would be interested in processing and processing agricultural products in the kingdom. encouraged to invest in packaging. .
Investors can see prospects in processing and packaging of cassava, rubber, bananas, turmeric, mangoes and other tropical fruits, he noted.
The Minister also praised KOTRA’s contribution to promoting Cambodia’s economic development.
The Minister also spoke about the Cambodia-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) in his exchanges with representatives of KOTRA. He noted that now is the right time to discuss trade, economic stimulus measures and increase use of the CKFTA.
Talking about the FTA, Yu reiterated KOTRA’s belief that the CKFTA would further facilitate trade between the two countries.
The CEO expressed hope that free trade agreements can strengthen cooperation on digital technology and agriculture. He pointed out that more than 200 South Korean companies are currently investing in Cambodia.
KOTRA hopes to attract more investors, especially in the fields of digital technology, agriculture, automobiles, vehicle parts and wood products.
Under the CKFTA, Cambodia is expected to receive more than 95% of all tariff items from South Korea and export 92% of its goods at 0% tariff.
The CKFTA allows Cambodia to export pepper, bananas, cashews, potatoes, pineapples, coffee, fruit, corn, longan, tobacco, meat, aquaculture products, sugar, rubber, apparel, textiles, footwear, bicycles, travel goods, bags and accessories. are allowed to export. , industrial products, etc.
On the other hand, South Korea will allow the export of electronic equipment, automobiles, construction machinery, agricultural machinery, raw materials for fabrics, processed fabrics, cosmetics, foodstuffs, groceries, construction materials and spare parts.
The CKFTA is expected to help strengthen Cambodia’s exports to South Korea, especially in garments, textiles, footwear, bags, accessories, electronics, rubber and agricultural products. Implementation of free trade agreements with China and South Korea and participation in RCEP is expected to boost trade in the country.