Cambodia, Korea foster ties with SEZ plan

Cambodia, Korea foster ties with SEZ plan

Cambodia and South Korea are poised to strengthen their economic partnership with a plan to establish special economic zones dedicated to Korean companies in Cambodia as the two countries agreed to leverage the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement and other free trade agreements for the benefit of all.

This initiative, announced after a meeting between Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on May 16, 2024, underscores the growing trade ties between the two nations, said Jean-François Tain, Minister Delegate attached to the Prime Minister.

The initiative of the special economic zone envisioned as a hub for Korean investment is expected to attract more businesses and investment, he said.

Details regarding the zone’s location, size, and specific focus are still under discussion as the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) and Korean Embassy in Cambodia will discuss the initiative, Tain said at a press conference on wrapping up Prime Minister’s official visit to Korea on Saturday.

“The Cambodian government wants this initiative to come out as soon as possible. This special economic zone will emerge in the near future and will bring great benefits for Cambodia,” he said.

The proposed SEZ is seen as a natural progression in this growing relationship.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce Vice President Lim Heng viewed the SEZ as a strategic move to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and boost economic growth.

“The establishment of a Korea-Cambodia SEZ is a welcome development. This will not only attract Korean companies but also create a knowledge-sharing platform for Cambodian businesses.

Technology transfer and upskilling opportunities within the zone can significantly benefit the Cambodian workforce,” Heng said.

The SEZ, with its tailored infrastructure and support services, can further incentivize Korean investment, he added.

Cambodia has seen a significant rise in Korean investment in recent years. The Cambodia-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA), signed in December 2022, further facilitated trade by easing import and export procedures.

The Cambodia-Korea partnership extends beyond the SEZ proposal. Both sides also agreed to enhance cooperation in digital trade and intellectual property for innovation-driven sustainable development.

The two countries also agreed to leverage the RCEP agreement and other free trade agreements for the mutual benefit. khmertimeskh

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