27/02/2024 02:34 PM

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 27 (Bernama) -- Malaysia and Cambodia today agreed to convene a Joint Trade Committee (JTC) this year to explore potential trade and investment as well as tourism that will benefit both countries, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said under this new trade mechanism, both countries would explore cooperation between the Customs Departments to facilitate the movement of goods. 

“We have a huge potential in terms of boosting trade volumes of palm oil and white rice, and the trade ministries of both countries will use the JTC platform to address these challenges and find solutions in both trade and tourism.

“Investments have been there but we should expect more investments into Cambodia and from Cambodia into Malaysia,” he said during a joint press conference with his Cambodian counterpart, Hun Manet, at Perdana Putra here today.

Meanwhile, Anwar said the value of investments by Malaysian companies in Cambodia has exceeded US$3 billion (US$1=RM4.78) to date.

Anwar added that Malaysia and Cambodia will explore new flight routes to expand connectivity between the two countries.

“We explored the issue of tourism and 47 flights from Cambodia to Kuala Lumpur and Kuala Lumpur to Cambodia. I agree that we should explore new routes to explain this because there's a huge potential in both our countries. 

“We have acknowledged the fact that Asean has recorded impressive collaborations in a number of fields when intra trade and investment is certainly profoundly lacking and therefore we have responsibility to ensure this will be enhanced and that they be beneficial to both countries,” he said.

He also said Malaysia has grown to be a key player in the construction of over 1,000km of seabed energy pipelines, facilitating the transmission of renewable energy from Cambodia and Laos to Singapore.

Earlier, Anwar and Hun Manet witnessed the exchange of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the cooperation in financial innovation and payment systems between Bank Negara Malaysia and the National Bank of Cambodia.

The MoU between the central banks is meaningful because this has been one of the pillars in terms of dealing with the issue or problem with currency. 

“We have had relative success with China, with 25 per cent of our total trade in our local currency, with Thailand with 18 per cent and with Indonesia at 20 per cent. 

"With Cambodia, I think using local currencies would of course lessen the burden and the pressure of having to be tied only to the US dollar,” Anwar said.

Cambodia was one of the earliest nations to establish diplomatic relations with Malaysia in 1957. In 2023, Cambodia ranked as Malaysia's 9th largest trading partner in the Asean region.

The value of bilateral trade between Malaysia and Cambodia stood at RM3.02 billion, with exports from Malaysia to Cambodia valued at RM2.35 billion, representing a 1.6 per cent increase from the previous year.

Malaysian companies have implemented 162 projects in Cambodia with investments totalling RM14.4 billion.




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