COVID-19 is pushing Cambodia to reorient itself to widen its highly concentrated export market. Diversification was one of the top goals of the government, according to a spokesperson for the Government of Commerce, and the ministry recognizes the detrimental impact COVID-19 has had on these two major trading partners.
Export diversification has been a long-term priority for the Ministry of Commerce since the Ministry launched its Trade Integration Strategy for Cambodia in 2019-2023, with Minister Pan Sorasak outlining the need for a new strategy to improve the competitiveness of the country in order to help its transformation into a developed economy and benefit from new sources.
To this end, the ministry outlined an enhanced focus on Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) between Asean nations and their partner countries Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, as well as ongoing FTA negotiations with China expected to be finalized by the end of the year. India, which is also a member of the Asean FTA, opted out of RCEP last November.