- The Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA), which came into force in January 2022, has provided Cambodia with renewed impetus to enhance trade facilitation and expand its trade portfolio. This is in line with the objectives of its Rectangular Strategy (2018-2023) and the economic diplomacy initiative that it launched in January 2021.
- Cambodia has been striving to mitigate economic and political risks stemming from the economic sanctions and pressures from the European Union and the United States by deepening its engagement with China.
- Cambodia stands to gain significantly in exporting its agricultural products to China under the CCFTA. The potential for growth in that area is massive. Cambodia’s tariff reduction and elimination offer is 90%, while China’s is 97.53%.
- To make the most of the opportunities provided by the CCFTA, Cambodia requires assistance in terms of improving sanitary and phytosanitary measures, conducting research and development to improve its export capacity and competitiveness, and establishing public-private partnerships to facilitate trade.
* Vannarith Chheang is President of the Asian Vision Institute and was formerly Visiting Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute.