The Kingdom of Cambodia and the Russian Federation were committed to strengthen their bilateral trade and investment cooperation and to explore the possibility of having a Cambodia-Russia free trade agreement.
According to a press release of the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce issued after the meeting between H.E. Sok Sopheak, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Commerce, and H.E. Anatoly Borovik, Russian Ambassador to Cambodia, held on Dec. 1 via Videoconference, both sides shared the same idea that the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered the consumption, ordering and transport of goods around the world and contributed greatly to the decline by 18 percent of the Cambodia-Russia bilateral trade during the first ten months of this year.
H.E. Secretary of State laid stress on wider access to foreign markets for Cambodian products after the signing of the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) on Oct. 12, the completion of ongoing negotiations on Cambodia-South Korea FTA whose 4th round was ended in November, the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement on Nov. 15, in addition to the existing agreements within the framework of ASEAN+1 (China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and China’s Hong Kong).
In this context, he continued, Cambodia needs Russian investments to enhance its industrial sector in order to increase its competitiveness in international markets.
H.E. Sok Sopheak also requested the Russian side to invite Cambodian businessmen and investors to participate in various programmes of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation to gain trade and investment opportunities.
The Cambodian side also expressed its intention for a feasibility study of Cambodia-Russia FTA as soon as possible.
For his part, H.E. Anatoly Borovik spoke highly of the Royal Government of Cambodia’s effective measures against COVID-19 pandemic and pledged to submit Cambodia’s requests to his government.