Phnom Penh, 9 January 2023, Australia’s Ambassador to Cambodia, H.E. Pablo Kang and H.E. PAN Sorasak, Minister of Commerce jointly launched two publications: Cambodian Crops with Prospects for the EU and RCEP Markets and, Cambodia and Unlocking Global Markets by Leveraging Free Trade Agreements (FTA).
They also announced the development of a Single Digital Platform which will include an FTA portal, self‑certification and rules of origin international verification systems to help businesses take full advantage of Cambodia’s FTAs.
The launch was attended by Mr. David Ray, CAP RED Facility Director, delegates from the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh, senior officials from the Ministry of Commerce, representatives from line ministries, and the private sector.
The two publications were produced with the support of Australia’s concluded program, Cambodia Australia Agricultural Value Chain (CAVAC), while the digital platform will be supported under Australia’s new flagship economic development program, the Cambodia Australia Partnership for Resilient Economic Development (CAP RED).
Cambodian Crops with Prospects for the EU and RCEP Markets provides key insights about market demands, consumer preferences, sanitary and phytosanitary measures and other non-tariff barriers to trade, product utilisation, key competitors and potential windows of opportunity. Promising crops included in this report are fresh mango, cashews, chili, sweet potato, longan, palm sugar, avocado, sesame, and processed fruits. This information, if used strategically, has the potential to generate long-term benefits for Cambodian agriculture.
The Cambodia and Unlocking Global Markets by Leveraging Free Trade Agreements booklet provides up-to-date and easy-to-understand information on the bilateral and regional free trade agreements Cambodia is a signatory to, such as RCEP, the Cambodia-China FTA and the Cambodia-Korea FTA. The booklet will help agri-food enterprises, producers, exporters, business associations and other relevant stakeholders to access market diversification opportunities and to enjoy the benefits of these FTAs.
The Single Digital Platform will emulate Australia’s own FTA portal and be a comprehensive resource for exporters and importers exploring the benefits of Cambodia’s FTAs. The platform will also provide information on rules of origin, procedures to register as an exporter, and the ability to obtain certificates of origin.
“AANZFTA, RCEP and other free trade agreements offer enormous opportunities to leverage exports and investment for Cambodia. Australia is very pleased to support Cambodia in the sector to diversify crops and export markets. We hope these guides and the upcoming single digital platform will make it easier for businesses to access useful information to increase trade”, said Ambassador Kang.
“The Ministry of Commerce acknowledges the support from the Australian Government and the CAP RED program for the formulation of a single digital platform development project. This project will assist Cambodia in fully realising key commitments made under several FTAs, namely the ATIGA, CKFTA, AANZFTA, and the RCEP agreement”, said H.E. PAN Sorasak.
Both sides are committed to strengthening cooperation and enhancing trade between Australia and Cambodia and will continue to cooperate in other areas of mutual interest, including the Cambodia-Australia Consumer Protection Partnership and support through the Regional Trade for Development (RT4D) program.
About CAP RED Program
CAP RED is Australia’s AUD 87 million, flagship economic development program in Cambodia. CAP RED will support Cambodia to leverage free trade agreements, prepare for the Least Developed Country graduation, promote inclusive trade and investment policies and practices, and build the eco-systems to increase trade and investment.
The Program will also support SME growth (especially women-led enterprises); promote agro-processing and support agricultural value chains; strengthen collaboration between public, private and research sectors to improve agri-food innovation and food standards; improve access to technology, finance and quality production; and support SMEs to improve energy efficiency. CAP RED has a strong focus on gender equality, disability and social inclusion across all its activities.