Cambodia NA passes AJCEP-1st Protocol

The National Assembly on Monday approved the First Protocol to Amend the Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Partnership among Japan and Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (AJCEP – 1st Protocol).

Cambodia expects to expand its market to Japan and woo more investors from the economic powerhouse of the Pacific through the perks provided by the protocol.

Leading a delegation to defend the protocol, Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce and ASEAN Economic Minister for Cambodia, said the law would improve ASEAN-Japan trade in tandem with the evolution of the global economy by liberalising trade, services, movement of natural persons and investment.

He said it will also provide substantial benefits to the whole of Cambodian society by promoting national economic growth, technological exchange, the transfer of knowledge, reskilling and upskilling, while adding more tax revenue to state coffers.

“After the protocol comes into force [in the Kingdom], it will attract more Japanese investors and businesses to invest in Cambodia and improve the inflow of techniques and technology, providing the Kingdom with more opportunities,” Sorasak said.

Royal Academy of Cambodia economics researcher Hong Vanak told The Post on Tuesday that its agricultural base, diversity of skilled and affordable labour and a favourable geographical location at the heart of the ASEAN region with a convenient transportation system will play into the hands of the Kingdom.

“If the protocol officially takes shape, I believe Cambodia will have a shot to entice more Japanese people to invest here, given that the Kingdom is a member of ASEAN, which is known for the magnitude of its market and its high purchasing power,” he said.

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