The China-Cambodia FTA to Become Cambodia’s First Bilateral Free Trade Agreement
China and Cambodia signed a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries on October 5, 2020. The deal was inked virtually between Cambodia’s Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak and Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan. Cambodia’s Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen and visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi were also present to witness the signing.
The signing of the agreement signifies the entry of the two countries into a new era of comprehensive strategic cooperation partnership, jointly building the China-Cambodia community with a shared future, and of cooperation in the joint construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
Trade between the two countries was valued at over US$7.4 billion in 2018 with China enjoying a trade surplus of over US$6 billion. Through the FTA, the two countries aim to boost bilateral trade to US$10 billion by 2023.
It also marks a major milestone in bilateral economic and trade relations and is expected to promote the development of bilateral relations to a new level and bring more benefits to enterprises and the people of China and Cambodia. The agreement is expected to be ratified by the Governments of both countries by early next year, aiming to make it come into effect as early as possible.