Cambodia and the Maldives have signed six bilateral agreements to explore economic potential, including business opportunities, during a visit to the archipelagic state by Prime Minister Hun Sen.
According to an official statement issued on January 16, Cambodia and the Maldives want to enhance bilateral cooperation in various areas, including trade and investment, tourism, cultural exchange and technical cooperation.
During the Cambodian premier’s visit, six important bilateral instruments were signed. These are an agreement on visa exemptions for holders of diplomatic, official and ordinary passports; economic cooperation; a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral consultations; a MoU on tourism cooperation; a MoU on health cooperation; and a MoU between the Maldives National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) and Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC).
The statement added that both leaders underscored the importance of the regular exchange of high-level visits and consultations that will enhance ways and means to strengthen and expand bilateral cooperation in all feasible areas for the mutual benefit of both nations.
The statement recognized the importance of bilateral trade and noted that economic relations are important for strengthening bilateral ties.
“Economic cooperation between the Maldives and Cambodia still has much room for improvement, the two leaders concurred to task the institutions concerned in both countries to work together in order to increase bilateral trade, investment and tourism exchanges, and encourage closer collaboration between the private sector of the Maldives and Cambodia in fully exploiting economic potentials and business opportunities in both countries,” the statement said.
Cambodia hopes to export rice to increase business interactions in this area, including discussing importing other agricultural products such as maize, pepper, dried cassava, cashew nut and fruits, and garment products, including clothes.
The Maldives also expected Cambodia to consider importing its seafood and fish. The statement added that both countries have great potential in tourism.
All relevant institutions are now being urged to work together to organize joint promotional activities to increase tourism exchanges, tapping into the rich cultural and natural heritage. The relevant institutions of both countries were also asked to consider creating cultural cooperation and exchange programmes.
On January 15, Hun Sen led a delegation to the Maldives to pay an official visit until January 17.