Cambodia, Singapore joint working group to boost trade, investments

Cambodia, Singapore joint working group to boost trade, investments

Prime Minister Hun Manet and Singapore Prime Minister Lawrence Wong have decided to set up a joint working group to promote trade and investment between the two countries and also agreed to operate more direct flights to encourage tourism.

The decisions were taken when the two Prime Ministers, accompanied by top officials, met on Tuesday evening. Prime Minister Hun Manet was in Singapore for a two-day official visit to the country.

According to an official press release, during the wide range of discussions, the two leaders also agreed to continue the cooperation for energy security.

Both Prime Ministers expressed confidence that by operating more direct flights, they could bring more tourists to both destinations from other countries as well.

Regarding energy security cooperation, the two leaders welcomed the outcome of the Cambodia-Laos-Singapore Ministerial Meeting that decided to establish a Ministerial Working Group of the three countries and increase the participation of stakeholders.

During the meeting, Mr Wong extended a warm welcome to Prime Minister Hun Manet to Singapore. Accompanied by a high-level Cambodian delegation, this was the first official visit of Mr Hun Manet to Singapore as Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister of Singapore highlighted the long-standing relationship between Singapore and Cambodia. Both countries will celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2025.

In response, Mr Hun Manet thanked the Singapore Prime Minister and the Government of Singapore for the warm hospitality and congratulated Mr Wong on his appointment as Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore.

The Cambodian Prime Minister also invited the Prime Minister of Singapore to pay an official visit to the Kingdom at an appropriate time and wished Mr Wong and the Council of Ministers of the Government of Singapore all success in leading the country.

Meanwhile, during a meeting between Chea Vuthy, Secretary General of the Cambodian Investment Board (CIB) of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, and Kow Juan Tiang, Executive Director of Enterprise Singapore (ESG), both sides agreed to increase investments in priority areas such as agri-business.

Chea Vuthy was part of the Cambodian delegation for the two-day official visit of Prime Minister Hun Manet in Singapore.

The CIB Secretary General laid stress on the possibility of working with ESG to boost investment cooperation to raise awareness of opportunities in Cambodia’s priority sectors such as automobiles, electronics, logistics, and agricultural processing including rubber, cashew and cassava for the domestic market and exports, said a press release.

Tiang emphasised the need to continue to strengthen investment cooperation between the two countries by encouraging Singaporean companies to look into the possibility of investing in Cambodia in agricultural processing, agri-food and infrastructure.

While reacting to the strengthening economic ties between the two countries, Ky Sereyvath, Senior Economist and Director General of the Institute of China Studies at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told Khmer Times yesterday that the proposed joint working group could make a huge difference, especially considering the fact Singapore is a world trade hub and a famous tourist site.

“The joint working group will improve both countries’ trade and tourism during this hard time of the world economy,” he said.

The latest report of the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE) showed that trade between the two countries rose to $393 million in the first five months of this year, an increase of 18 percent compared to the same period last year.

Exports from Cambodia to Singapore increased by 134.6 percent while imports to Cambodia registered a growth of 11.5 percent.

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