Timor-Leste eyes business avenues in Cambodia

The visiting foreign minister congratulated the Cambodian government on its efforts to curb Covid-19 and the timely socio-economic reopening. She said the visit had allowed her to hear the Cambodian perspective on Regional Economic integration and the Kingdom’s successful economic progress


Timor-Leste Foreign Minister Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno has wrapped up a four-day visit to Cambodia, in which she discussed ways to promote and strengthen bilateral relations with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.


On Thursday, Magno also had a bilateral meeting with Sok Chenda Sophea, Secretary General, Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC). The two discussed cooperation on trade and investment in order to strengthen relations and cooperation and maximise mutual benefits for both countries, Sophea said. He told Magno about important developments in Cambodia related to investment opportunities and the main contents of the Law on Investment, which was adopted in October last year.


Following effective anti-Covid measures and a successful vaccination campaign, Sophea said the government has fully reopened the country since December 22 and restored the Strategic Framework for Economic Growth 2021-2023 with a ‘new normal’ trajectory.


Magno congratulated the Cambodian government on its efforts to curb Covid-19 and the timely socio-economic reopening. She said the visit had allowed her to hear the Cambodian perspective on Regional Economic integration. Magno said she also gained insight into successful economic development such as the growth of special economic zones and the system of online business registration.


Magno left on Saturday after a four-day official visit. She also met Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn and paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Hun Sen.


Mr Hun Sen suggested the Timor-Leste foreign minister to look into areas of bilateral cooperation such as a free trade agreement, an agreement on protection of investments and one on double taxation.


Trade between Cambodia and East Timor is valued at just $300,000 per annum.


In 2019, Cambodia exported $320,000 to Timor-Leste. The main products were aluminium cans ($279,000) and metal stoppers ($41,000). During the last 15 years, Cambodia’s exports to Timor-Leste have increased at an annualised rate of 122 percent.


In 2019, Timor-Leste’s exports were worth $3,540, comprised entirely of coffee. During the last 15 years Timor-Leste’s exports to Cambodia have decreased at an annualised rate of 8.51 percent, from $13,000 in 2004 to $3,540 in 2019.


In 2020 Cambodia plunged more than 97 per cent to $9,130, while imports climbed up nearly a fifth to $4,200, according to the latest data from the UN International Trade Statistics Database (UNCOMTRADE) provided by online platform Trading Economics.


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