Cambodia and Myanmar accelerate trade deals

PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh Post/Asia News Network): Cambodia and Myanmar are accelerating negotiations on two major draft agreements in a bid to rapidly increase trade cooperation, citing low trade volume bilateral.

At a meeting between leaders of Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce and Myanmar’s Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations in Indonesia on May 18, Cambodian Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak called on the two sides to intensify discussions on economic and trade progress “within regional and bilateral frameworks aimed at boosting the volume of trade and stimulating economic recovery”.

U Aung Naing Oo, Myanmar’s Minister of Investment and External Economic Relations, agreed, adding that Cambodia’s recent negotiations on establishing bilateral free trade agreements with China and South Korea were a sign of the Cambodian government’s success in building and expanding business partnerships. .

He said negotiations on the draft investment agreement between Cambodia and Myanmar and the double taxation avoidance agreement between the two countries were being accelerated “so that they can be signed in the near future. “.

At the meeting, Sorasak also expressed gratitude to Myanmar for supporting Cambodia as the chair of the ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting earlier this year.

Cambodian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) Vice President Lim Heng told The Post that the two agreements would facilitate trade between the two countries, which despite Myanmar’s ongoing battle against Covid-19 and its internal political crisis, would be beneficial for both countries.

He added that the double taxation avoidance agreement will make it easier for investors to pay taxes, which is an important factor that would attract more cross-border investors.

Although the volume of trade between Myanmar and Cambodia is still limited, this agreement will help boost trade between Cambodia and Myanmar,” he said.

“As members of ASEAN, we and Myanmar have always facilitated trade between us. So if these two agreements come to fruition, especially the agreement to avoid double taxation, it will be easier for investors. in Cambodia and Myanmar.

According to a Commerce Ministry report, bilateral trade volume between Cambodia and Myanmar “in the three years preceding the Covid-19 crisis” totaled only $20 million.

Annual bilateral trade between the two countries remained tilted in favor of Myanmar, having slightly more than doubled between 2019 and 2020 to reach $28.2 million, according to Trading Economics.

Cambodian imports and exports from and to Myanmar in 2020 were $24.93 million and $3.27 million respectively, the latter down slightly from 2019.

The latest figures from the statistics website indicate that in 2020, “miscellaneous chemical products” accounted for $0.58585 million, or about 17.9% of Cambodia’s exports, while “tobacco and tobacco substitutes”. tobacco” accounted for 22.22 million dollars, or more than 89% of the Kingdom’s exports. imports.