The Kingdom and Oman set to step up trade and investment bonds

Secretary of State in the Ministry of Commerce, Tek Reth Kamrong (right) and Oman’s new ambassador, Saleh Mohamed Ahmed al-Suqri, at the ministry on Wednesday. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

According to the Commerce Ministry, Cambodia and Oman have agreed to improve their trade and investment cooperation, identify priority areas and explore bases for crafting agreements that resonate with resources and capabilities. unique to both countries.

The consensus was reached during a meeting between Secretary of State for the Ministry of Commerce, Tek Reth Kamrong, and new Omani Ambassador Saleh Mohamed Ahmed al-Suqri at the ministry on March 2, the ministry said in a statement later. late in the day.

Before the era of Covid-19, imports and exports between the two countries were historically very low. But that changed in 2020-21, when trade reached a two-year total of around $5.5 million, consisting mostly of textiles, fertilizers and minerals, the statement said.

For reference, the latest figures published on Trading Economics indicate that Cambodian imports from Oman amounted to $2.85 million – or 99.86% of bilateral trade – in 2020 alone, including “fertilizer”. and “salt, sulphur, earth, stone, plaster, lime and cement” amounted to $1.65 million and $1.00 million, respectively. However, statistical discrepancies and asymmetries in trade figures are common between sources.

During the meeting, Reth Kamrong said that, underpinned by past cooperation achievements, the Kingdom and the Sultanate can expect relations to be strengthened and preserved in all areas, especially in trade, during of al-Suqri’s “significant” diplomatic mission, the statement said. .

She briefed the Omani delegation on the Kingdom’s comprehensive three-year “Living with Covid” roadmap, which is based on three pillars – recovery, reform and resilience – and also known as the “Strategic Framework and Programs for economic recovery in the context of life”. with Covid-19 in a new normal 2021-2023”.

This instrument, together with the remarkable achievements of the national vaccination campaigns against Covid-19, ushered in the resumption of socio-economic activities in all sectors, she said.

“In this regard, I would like to encourage Omani investors to seize investment opportunities in Cambodia, by establishing production bases, participating in regional supply chains and investing in Cambodian products with potential, including milled rice. , rubber, bananas, mangoes, electronics, travel. goods and textiles,” said Reth Kamrong.

The ambassador commended the Kingdom for its healthy investment climate, level of political stability and continued success in inoculating Covid-19, the statement said.

Oman reaffirms its commitment to strengthening bilateral relations and deepening cooperation, particularly in the areas of trade, tourism, international ports and chambers of commerce, al-Suqri said.

He also invited Omani and Cambodian leaders and businessmen to visit the other country and participate in exhibitions, and discussed the possibility of establishing memoranda or other agreements that correspond to the priority areas pursued by the two countries.

Hong Vanak, director of international economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, says free trade agreements (FTAs) under Cambodia’s belt, including those with China and South Korea as well as the Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), will be a driving force for investment and could improve the Kingdom’s historically weak trade and investment ties with Oman.

Omani investors could reap the benefits offered by these trade pacts, opening a shop in the Kingdom and producing or processing goods for export to target markets, he suggested.

“Although investment and commercial activity between Cambodia and Oman is still weak, I believe that the relaxation of the terms and conditions of the new Cambodian investment law – and the entry into force of the trade agreements – will help improve trade relations between the two countries forward,” Vanak said.

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