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Pakistan and Cambodia sign an accord to boost their trade cooperation

Cham Nimul, Minister of Commerce, and Zaheeruddin Babar Thaheem, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Cambodia, signed the MoU in Phnom Penh on Tuesday to create the joint trade committee for mutual benefit.

PHNOM PENH: The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) of Cambodia signed an agreement with Pakistan to establish a joint committee aimed at enhancing trade cooperation.

Cham Nimul, Minister of Commerce, and Zaheeruddin Babar Thaheem, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Cambodia, signed the MoU in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, on Tuesday to create the joint trade committee for mutual benefit.

At the signing ceremony, Nimul emphasized the importance of the MoU, highlighting its potential to significantly boost the two countries’ relations, especially in trade and economic cooperation.

“The joint trade committee established under this agreement will serve as a mechanism to explore ways to create favorable conditions for businesses and investors, diversify economies, expand production bases, and foster bilateral trade,” she stated.

Nimul added that Cambodia and Pakistan are committed to close cooperation, actively engaging private sectors, including chambers of commerce and business associations in both nations.

The initiative aims to promote trade and economic activities, exchange trade insights, support small and medium enterprises, and standardize technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures for Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) to streamline exports, she explained.

Speaking to the Khmer Times, Dr. Tan Monivann, Vice President of Mong Reththy Group Co. Ltd, noted that SPS measures ensure product quality based on each country’s standards, generally requiring a certificate of origin (CO). TBT regulations involve taxes required from both parties.

He emphasized that once the agreement is established, both parties will discuss ways to reduce the complexity of SPS and TBT requirements, facilitating smoother trade activities.

Besides these requirements, there are non-technical barriers such as complicated paperwork, document processing, and approval requests, which could delay trade cooperation, Monivann added.

According to the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE), Cambodia’s exports were worth $8 billion in the first four months of 2024, a 15.2 percent increase compared to $6.9 billion during the same period last year. Imports reached $8.6 billion, a 9.3 percent increase.

Penn Sovicheat, Secretary of State and Spokesperson of MoC, noted that the implementation of the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement has boosted Cambodia’s exports.

“Despite the war crisis and weakening purchasing power, the Kingdom’s export orders remained high, with volumes unchanged. Declines in some items were offset by increases in others,” he added.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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