Cambodia-Vietnam pact to facilitate cross-border trade

Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak said that the border trade agreement between Cambodia and Vietnam would be a mechanism to facilitate cross-border trade between the two countries.

On Monday, the minister led a delegation of ministry officials to the Ninth Committee of the Senate to defend the draft law on the approval of the border trade agreement between Cambodia and Vietnam.

The Ninth Commission chairman informed the meeting that the committee had reviewed the draft law and found that it was in accordance with the Constitution, laws and relevant legal norms. The commission agreed to proceed with the procedures for requesting ratification of the draft law.

The minister then informed the meeting about the objectives, content, and benefits of the border trade agreement for Cambodia once it comes into force. He also answered the questions of the Supreme Members of the Senate in detail regarding the draft law.

Sorasak said that the draft law would help implement strategies to strengthen business connectivity, enhance partnerships, create jobs, and boost production and family businesses in border areas, which would improve the lives of Cambodians living along the border.

Cambodia and Vietnam’s trade volume in the first quarter of 2023 reached nearly $1.9 billion, up 8.4 percent from the same period in 2022, according to a Ministry of Commerce report released on Monday.

Bilateral trade between Cambodia and Vietnam reached $8.45 billion in the first nine months of 2021, up 79 percent from the previous year. The two-way trade reached $9.54 billion in 2021, up from $5.31 billion in 2020. This represents an average annual growth rate of 17 percent between 2016 and 2020.

Prime Minister Hun Sen and Chairman of the Vietnam National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue met at the Peace Palace last year to discuss the ever-strengthening economic partnership between their two countries. They expressed their desire to increase bilateral trade to $10 billion.

The Prime Minister said that the strong economic partnership between Cambodia and Vietnam will help promote relations between the two countries in other areas, such as politics and culture. Vuong Dinh Hue expressed his happiness over the good relationship and cooperation between the two countries, especially in trade, and congratulated Cambodia on its rapid development.

According to a report in 2021, Vietnam had 198 investment projects in Cambodia with a registered capital of $2.92 billion. It is also the largest trading partner of Cambodia among ASEAN member states, with a trade volume of $3.26 billion. Overall, Vietnam is the third largest trading partner of Cambodia after China and the US.

At the Cambodia-Vietnam Investment and Trade Forum 2022 on November 8, where Vietnam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh was present, the Premier said Cambodia may connect with the automotive and electronics production chains through the development of a special country strategy. The Prime Minister also spoke about increasing cooperation in developing infrastructure along the Southern Economic Corridor to boost trade and tourism.

The two premiers witnessed the signing of 11 cooperation documents on land transport; agricultural cooperation; border trade; commerce; television and radio cooperation; telecom, ICT, digital transformation; labour; financial innovation, and payment systems.

Both countries have growth potential in sectors such as consumer goods production, energy, electricity, mining, processing, agriculture, forestry and fishery.