Cambodia, Vietnam sign MoUs to improve investment, trade

Cambodia and Vietnam last weekend signed several memorandums of understanding (MoUs), according to a joint statement issued by Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Saturday.

The MoUs were signed during Prime Minister Hun Sen’s two-day visit to Vietnam on Friday and Saturday.

Four of the MoUs were aimed at boosting bilateral investment and trade cooperation to promote trade, trade connectivity infrastructure along the border, investment cooperation and cooperation in the electric power sector.

Last year, bilateral trade volume between the two countries rose by 24 per cent on 2017 to more than $4.7 billion. Both sides expect this year’s figure to top $5 billion, the statement read.

“Both sides have agreed to maintain growth for the following year and promote measures to boost trade and support their enterprises to participate in trade and investment,” the statement read.

Vietnam is the Kingdom’s third largest source of foreign investment. As of last year, the country has invested in 214 projects worth $3.3 billion.

China is the leading source of foreign direct investment into Cambodia, reaching $3.594 billion last year, Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak said last month.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng told The Post on Sunday that trade cooperation between Cambodia and Vietnam will help boost investment growth in the Kingdom.

“These trade agreements are a catalyst for the bilateral exchange of goods and freight, which helps grow both countries’ economies,” he said.

Cambodia is a source of agricultural raw material to Vietnam, Heng said, adding that: “Vietnam has entered free trade agreements with the US and Europe, which has boosted the volume of Vietnamese exports and has also led to increased demand for raw material imports from Cambodia.”

Cambodia’s trade deficit with Vietnam continues to widen, a recent Ministry of Commerce report shows.

The Kingdom’s exports to Vietnam between 2015 and last year reached slightly more than $1.18 billion, while Vietnam’s exports to the Kingdom amounted to $6.96 billion, it said.

During the first three months of this year, the report continued, Cambodia exported $75 million to Vietnam, as imports hit $623 million.