Cambodia and Vietnam made progress toward ambitious economic targets after trade between the countries rose 21.2 percent in the first two months of this year, worth about $624.1 million.
Thach Du, Vietnamese ambassador to Cambodia, told local media his nation was Cambodia’s third largest trade partner last year, while bilateral trade between the countries hit $3 billion.
Vietnam was also among the top five investors to Cambodia in 2016, with $2.85 billion registered capital invested in 183 projects.
“Traditional friendship, favorable geographical conditions and ties between the two governments were the foundation for promoting economic, trade and investment co-operation between Vietnam and Cambodia,” Mr. Thach said.
In June 2012, both governments pledged to push bilateral trade to $5 billion by 2015. However that target has not been reached due to global economic factors.
Commerce Ministry spokeswoman Soeng Sophary said business with Vietnam will further improve when the countries sign a border trade agreement.
She told Khmer Times that officials are currently working with Vietnam’s Industry and Trade Ministry to finalize the agreement, which will be signed within the year.
“The border trade agreement came about as a result of the prime minister’s visit to Vietnam,” she said.
“It will address current challenges in overland trade between our countries and will help smooth import and export issues along the main border and other border corridors.”
She addedboth countries already had clauses for border trade in their formal trading agreements, but those were “at times outdated.”
“This border trade agreement focuses on contemporary issues to make cross-border trade between Cambodia and Vietnam unproblematic and transparent,” she said.
In October, Cambodia called on Vietnam to withdraw quarantine and biosecurity measures for imports from the kingdom, to boost trade to the $5 billion target.