China’s Foreign Minister to talk trade on final day of visit

 

China’s foreign affairs minister will meet his Cambodian counterpart today at the end of his two-day visit to the Kingdom. Wang Yi and Prak Sokhonn, who is also Cambodia’s deputy prime minister, will discuss areas in which the two countries can work together. These are likely to include ways to fight the Coronavirus, trade and investment, education, security and national defence.

Wang joined Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday for a ceremony to mark the opening of the Morodok Techo National Stadium. The new venue will be used to train athletes and will host the 2023 Southeast Asian Games.

The stadium was built with a $160 million grant from Beijing as part of the China-Cambodia Belt and Road Initiative.

Cambodia’s National Assembly passed a draft law on Thursday approving  the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement. China and Cambodia are members of RCEP, which should come into force next year creating a trading block covering around 30 percent of the world’s population, economy and exports.

The two countries signed a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) in October last year, which was ratified by Cambodia’s National Assembly last week. The FTA has already cleared the way for direct agricultural exports from the Kingdom.

Last year bilateral trade was worth $9.56 billion, up 1.4 percent from 2019. In the first six months of this year trade between the two was worth almost $5 billion, according to the Cambodian Commerce Ministry.

China is Cambodia’s biggest source of foreign direct investment and has also helped the Kingdom fight the Coronavirus, providing more than 9 million doses of SinoPharm and SinoVac vaccines.

Wang was in Vietnam before arriving in Phnom Penh yesterday. He heads to South Korea tomorrow for a two-day visit. He will meet Foreign Affairs Minister Chung Eui-yong on Wednesday.


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