Cambodia and Hungary have pledged to deepen cooperation in three core sectors: trade, agriculture and water resources, recognising their crucial role in the economies and wellbeing of their citizens.
The pledge came during a recent meeting between Ministry of Commerce secretary of state Tekreth Kamrang and Hungarian ambassador Tibor Baloghdi at the ministry headquarters in Phnom Penh.
The discussion focused on assessing and furthering cooperation between the two nations, with a particular emphasis on trade and investment, according to a ministry social media post on October 7.
Kamrang expressed gratitude to the Hungarian government and people for their unwavering support and collaboration with the Kingdom across various developmental sectors. She affirmed Cambodia’s commitment to bolstering collaborations with global partners.
“Cambodia is poised to convene the 2nd Session of the Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation [JCEC] soon, aiming to evaluate ongoing initiatives and outline priority sectors and strategies for the mutual benefit of both nations,” she said.
Baloghdi lauded the ministry for past collaborations and assured of Hungary’s commitment to enhance cooperation across all sectors, especially in trade, agriculture and water resources.
Addressing economic, trade and investment strategies, representatives from both countries expressed their mutual interest in arranging study visits to probe trade and investment opportunities via their respective chambers of commerce.
They also highlighted the importance of escalating trade and investment, noting that the current bilateral trade levels are modest.
Senior officials further encouraged Hungarian business figures to explore the “vast” trade and investment possibilities in the country, with Cambodia expressing readiness to bridge collaborations between the chambers of commerce of the two nations.
In the agriculture, food security and safety, forestry and fishery sectors, they deliberated on bolstering cooperation by sharing expertise on high-yield livestock rearing, aquaculture and dairy production.
On water resource management, both nations agreed to intensify their collaboration in areas such as river basin management, and water and waste management.
Hong Vannak, an economist with the Institute of International Relations at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, noted the favourable relations between the two countries, pointing out their mutual support at various diplomatic levels.
“Being part of the EU makes Hungary a strategic ally for Cambodia. Although trade figures are currently minimal, I am confident that efforts by the government and the ministry will spur significant growth soon,” Vannak stated.
Trade between the countries reached approximately $7.44 million in 2022, marking an 89 per cent increase from year-on-year. Potential export products from Cambodia to Hungary include cereals, clothing, footwear, tobacco and electronic equipment.
Imports from Hungary include mainly pharmaceuticals, machinery, toys, dairy products and organic chemicals.