EU expected to suspend some of Cambodia’s duty free privileges

Sihanoukville container port, Cambodia’s only deep-sea port

The European Union after a year-long review of Cambodia’s labour conditions and human rights situation is about to withdraw trade privileges on some Cambodian exports, according to a document on the European Parliament’s website, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

An official announcement on whether Cambodia will retain its duty-free access to the bloc under the Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme for least developed countries is due on February 12.

However, the document – submitted by Italian lawmaker Danilo Oscar Lancini, a member of the parliament’s committee on international trade – appeared to point to a partial suspension of Cambodia’s EBA privileges, without specifying the products as such.

The country’s most vital industry, its $9.5 billion apparel export sector, which employs some 750,000 workers, stands to be damaged if its products are withdrawn from the scheme.

Cambodia exported €4.6 billion ($5 billion) of garments, footwear and other apparel to the EU in the first 11 months of last year. Losing EBA privileges would add a 12 per cent tariff to Cambodian apparel exports to the EU and between eight and 17 per cent for shoes.

“Unpleasant” EU relations and China’s help

The EU began reviewing Cambodia’s EBA privileges last year following a government crackdown on political opponents, critics and labour rights advocates. In an open letter last month, major clothing companies and associations urged the government to make “immediate” reforms and warned the credibility of the apparel sector was at stake.

Meanwhile, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen complained about “unpleasant relations“ Europe had with some ASEAN members and noted that Cambodia would “not compromise its sovereignty and independence to retain the EBA status.”

The Khmer Times reported that Hun Sen has turned to Chinese President Xi Jinping to lend support to Cambodia by encouraging Chinese investors to keep their garment factories in the country. Xi, in turn, reassured that China will continue to support Cambodia’s economy despite a potential EBA agreement suspension.



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Sihanoukville container port, Cambodia's only deep-sea port The European Union after a year-long review of Cambodia’s labour conditions and human rights situation is about to withdraw trade privileges on some Cambodian exports, according to a document on the European Parliament's website, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. An official announcement on whether Cambodia will retain its duty-free access to the bloc under the Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme for least developed countries is due on February 12. However, the document – submitted by Italian lawmaker Danilo Oscar Lancini, a member of the parliament’s committee on international trade – appeared to point...

Sihanoukville container port, Cambodia’s only deep-sea port

The European Union after a year-long review of Cambodia’s labour conditions and human rights situation is about to withdraw trade privileges on some Cambodian exports, according to a document on the European Parliament’s website, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

An official announcement on whether Cambodia will retain its duty-free access to the bloc under the Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme for least developed countries is due on February 12.

However, the document – submitted by Italian lawmaker Danilo Oscar Lancini, a member of the parliament’s committee on international trade – appeared to point to a partial suspension of Cambodia’s EBA privileges, without specifying the products as such.

The country’s most vital industry, its $9.5 billion apparel export sector, which employs some 750,000 workers, stands to be damaged if its products are withdrawn from the scheme.

Cambodia exported €4.6 billion ($5 billion) of garments, footwear and other apparel to the EU in the first 11 months of last year. Losing EBA privileges would add a 12 per cent tariff to Cambodian apparel exports to the EU and between eight and 17 per cent for shoes.

“Unpleasant” EU relations and China’s help

The EU began reviewing Cambodia’s EBA privileges last year following a government crackdown on political opponents, critics and labour rights advocates. In an open letter last month, major clothing companies and associations urged the government to make “immediate” reforms and warned the credibility of the apparel sector was at stake.

Meanwhile, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen complained about “unpleasant relations“ Europe had with some ASEAN members and noted that Cambodia would “not compromise its sovereignty and independence to retain the EBA status.”

The Khmer Times reported that Hun Sen has turned to Chinese President Xi Jinping to lend support to Cambodia by encouraging Chinese investors to keep their garment factories in the country. Xi, in turn, reassured that China will continue to support Cambodia’s economy despite a potential EBA agreement suspension.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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