Cambodia and Turkiye have reiterated their commitment to completing necessary internal procedures to begin a feasibility study on a potential bilateral Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) aimed at increasing bilateral trade and investment, before launching negotiations.
Early in January, the Cambodia-Turkiye Joint Economic Commission had held its third meeting in Phnom Penh, where it affirmed its resolve to undertake related works outlined in a previously-signed joint memorandum, while also setting out additional tasks.
On May 4, the Ministry of Commerce announced that it had asked the Turkish embassy to encourage and open doors for players based in Turkiye to invest in Cambodian agriculture, agro-industry and halal food processing, highlighting the abundance of raw materials in the Kingdom.
Ministry secretary of state Tekreth Kamrang made this request a day earlier at a meeting with Turkish ambassador Ulku Kocaefe and the embassy’s first commercial counsellor Zore Aksahin Simsek in Phnom Penh, according to a ministry statement.
Officials at the meeting discussed strengthening and expanding trade, investment and other forms of economic cooperation. To this end, Kamrang proposed to Kocaefe and Simsek fast-tracking internal procedures to pave the way for the commission to kick off talks for a possible bilateral EPA “in the near future”.
Kamrang provided the ambassador with an overview of business opportunities and the investment environment in Cambodia, noting that cash crops such as rubber, cassava, rice, cashew nuts and bananas are abundant in the Kingdom.
The senior commerce official also lauded Kocaefe’s efforts to enhance bilateral relations and cooperation in all areas.
In turn, Kocaefe commented that bilateral relations and cooperation, especially in trade, have shown extraordinary vitality, prompting Ankara to establish a trade office in Cambodia and send Simsek – both, she claimed, will boost efficiency in trade and investment facilitation, in the interest of the private sectors of the two countries, according to the statement.
Simsek affirmed her commitment to fostering trade growth, private-sector linkages, and knowledge sharing through training programmes, the statement said.
The ministry put the Cambodia-Turkiye trade volume at “about $52 million” for the first-quarter, which it said marked a year-on-year increase of “about 80 per cent”.
Priority Cambodian exports to Turkiye include garments, mangoes, rubber, cassava, corn, peppercorn, milled rice, organic chemicals and tobacco leaves, it said, adding that the analogous imports comprise garments and other textile-linked items, machinery and electrical devices, vehicles and spare parts thereof, and copper accessories.