22 Nov 2019
CAMBODIA: China FTA Negotiations Set to Commence in Early December
Negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Cambodia and China are set to commence on 3 December in Beijing, according to a statement released via the Facebook page of the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia. While further details of the negotiations have yet to be announced, its scope is expected to extend beyond the benefits specified in the existing China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). In particular, an extension of the preferential benefits relating to agricultural exports is expected to figure prominently in any new agreement.
The FTA is also expected to provide an extra boost to companies looking to relocate all or part of their production line to Cambodia amid the ongoing trade conflict with the US. As a beneficiary of the US’ Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) and the European Union’s (EU’s) Everything But Arms (EBA) programmes, Cambodia’s exports currently enjoy duty-free access to the US and EU markets.
In 2018, the total merchandise trade between Cambodia and China was valued at US$7.4 billion, with Cambodia’s exports to China accounting for $1.37 billion and its imports from China for the remaining $6 billion, year-on-year increases of 37% and 26% respectively. More recently, the two sides agreed to aim for a bilateral trade target of $10 billion by 2023.