The Phnom Penh Post | 3 July 2022
Kingdom, Mongolia eyeing deal to up trade, investment
by May Kunmakara
Cambodia and Mongolia are looking to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance bilateral trade and investment ties, a commitment made during a meeting on June 29.
The MoU is expected to encourage the Mongolian private sector to also study the potential of Cambodia’s agricultural sector and other important commodities to meet its market demands.
Minister of Commerce secretary of state Reach Ra, who met with Jamsran Byambasuren, newly-appointed Mongolian ambassador to Cambodia with residence in Vientiane, said efforts have been made by the Cambodian government to improve the business and investment environment.
These include reforms and promulgation of new laws such as the Law on Competition, Law on Investment and Consumer Protection Law.
“Cambodia plays an important role in contributing to regional economic integration. We have also made efforts to diversify export markets through negotiations to establish the RCEP [Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership], bilateral trade deals with China and South Korea,” said Ra, who is also chairman of a working group on negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with Mongolia.
Similarly, to tap the opportunities and potential of boosting bilateral trade, he acknowledged the need to examine the possibility of establishing a framework for economic cooperation or a MoU as the next step.
He suggested that additional meetings and an exchange of visits by leaders of Cambodia’s commerce ministry and Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs take place so that trade and economic cooperation can deepen.
Meanwhile, Byambasuren made note of Cambodia’s efforts to facilitate trade, attract investment and develop key sectors of the national economy.
“Mongolia has been exploring the context of trade cooperation between the two countries in the past,” said Byambasuren.
In September 2020, Ra led an inter-ministerial group to Mongolia to study the establishment of an FTA. The delegation comprised officials from the ministries of Economy and Finance; Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; and Labour and Vocational Training, as well as the Council for the Development of Cambodia.
Commerce ministry spokesman Penn Sovicheat previously told The Post that a feasibility study on the establishment of an FTA was a measure to implement Cambodia’s trade integration policy and strategy to diversify regional and global markets.
“Our ministry has been working hard to expand into new markets. We are a country with a great potential to grow our agro industry.
“We believe we can export agricultural products to world markets, including Mongolia,” he said.