Training on Trade Policy and Negotiations is important in raising knowledge and awareness of Cambodian officials on international trade issues, according to H.E. Dr. Pich Rithi, Director-General of the Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia.  He conveyed this in an opening address of the week-long training under the European Union’s (EU) Enhancing ASEAN FTA Negotiating Programme (FTA Programme), in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce of the Royal Government of Cambodia (executed by the Department of Notifications and Legal Compliance) and the ASEAN Secretariat.

The EU FTA Programme aims to develop ASEAN capacities for trade negotiations. This series of in-country training workshops specifically is aimed at enhancing the understanding and implementation of multilateral and regional trade principles, policies and agreements of mid-level officials from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV). CLMV countries are encouraged to select topics of most relevance to them. The training will also help officials in their implementation of the ASEAN Plus 1 FTA Agreements.

The workshop covered topics on multilateral and regional trade policy and negotiations in areas of trade in agriculture, sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards, technical barriers to trade, and new trade issues such as trade facilitation and labour standards in trade agreements. “The topics and materials provided are relevant to my day-to-day tasks and answered a lot of my questions on trade policies, negotiations and facilitation,” said a participant from the Ministry of Commerce.

Participants of the workshop included officials from the Ministry of Commerce; Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy; Ministry of Economy and Finance (General Department of Customs and Excise), as well as representatives from the Chamber of Commerce.

The Cambodian training is first in a series of in-country training workshops being co-organised by the IAI&NDG Division of the ASEAN Secretariat. Similar trainings are planned to be held in Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam in the succeeding months.

European Union to the Kingdom of Cambodia conveyed continued support for Cambodia’s trade development initiatives and the implementation of its national development strategy.