Advanced Training Series to Strengthen Private Sectors' Capacity to Engage in Trade Policy & Negotiation in Cambodia

Phnom Penh, 6 April 2023 - In partnership with EuroCham, ARISE Plus Cambodia successfully concluded the two-part “Advanced Private Sector Training Series: Trade Policy & Negotiation” on 5 April 2023, that aimed to boost the capacity of the private sector to engage effectively with the Government and vice versa on issues related to trade policy, and towards more effective trade policy negotiations. First part of the training was conducted on 13-15 March 2023 with the focus on Trade in Goods, while the second part was about Trade in Service and held from 3-5 April 2023.

The training was led by trade experts, namely Mr. Sven CALLEBAUT, Trade Policy Adviser, H.E. Dr. Siphana SOK, Senior Adviser to the Royal Government of Cambodia, and Dr. Deborah ELMS, Executive Director of the Asian Trade Centre (ATC) in Singapore, along with high-level representatives from Cambodian Government.

Around 60 participants, in total, from private companies and business associations attended with interactive participation, discussion, and suggestion during both parts of the training.

In part I, the training was honored to join by H.E. Rithipol TITH, Under Secretary of State of Ministry of Commerce (MoC)and share his insightful remark during the opening session, together with Mr. Till AHNERT, ARISE Plus Head of Project and Mr. Martin BRISSON, Executive Director of EuroCham Cambodia.

The participants were exposed to various topics to understand better the different aspects of trade policy and negotiations in Cambodia including policy formulation, the public-private dialogues mechanism related to trade policy and negotiations, and an overview of on-going and forthcoming negotiations led by the Royal Government of Cambodia. Participants were also provided the opportunity to identity the potential FTA partners through the negotiation simulation by using Trade Intelligence Negotiation Adviser (TINA) to gain more practical experience on trade negotiation in goods and were introduced to the tools for public-private dialogue on trade policy.

In addition, guest speakers from MoC, H.E. Sokheng SIM, Secretary of State, and H.E. Sivyong HO, Director-General for Trade Support Services, introduced trade in goods negotiations, including rules of origin and origin declaration, and who Cambodia negotiates with. Mr. Arnaud DARC, Co-Chair, Government Private Sector Working Group D on Law, Tax and Governance, provided an overview of public-private sector dialogue on trade and business environment. Private companies’ representatives from cashew and auto industries shared their journey and how they can continue to help grow Cambodia’s economy.

During part II, the participants gained more knowledge and insight of trade in services, Cambodia position on trade in services, application of policy and negotiation to e-commerce sector as well as the role and importance of public-private dialogue mechanisms in service trade negotiation.

Various topics were presented and discussed, including the overview of trade in service and its statistics, Cambodia's trade integration strategy, trade policy review and tools to advocate the public-private dialogues, WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (WTO-GATS), WTO classification system, CPC codes for services and the four modes of supply, WTO accession, and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) provision on e-commerce and its impact.

Along with the lead trainers, Mr. Yuvaroath TAN, MoC Deputy Director General of the Directorate General of Trade Promotion, delivered a comprehensive presentation on trade in service, service liberalization under the WTO, schedule of specific commitment, service liberalization under ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs), current challenges, opportunities and recommendations in implementing the FTAs. He also shared interesting facts about financial services in ASEAN, the milestones of financial integration in ASEAN and some implications of insurance, market capital and banking in ASEAN.

Adding to that, attendees heard more from private-sector guest speakers on the role of promoting digital service and how to help their clients engage with the government for public-private dialogue, and role of the association to support and promote the banking industry as well as their major role in consulting with the government and overview of the Banking and FinTech sector in Cambodia. The session was wrapped up with group discussions among the participants to analyze Cambodia's commitments to RCEP on several service sectors including legal, dentistry, and insurance services and compare those with other members with the attentive recommendations.

The training was concluded with certificate ceremony and closing remark from Ms. Christina Novio Garcia, Program Manager of Trade, Private Sector and Energy of the European Union Delegation to Cambodia. The training was quite appreciated from the participants, trainers and speakers with positive feedback.

Related reading:

Press release of training part one:

Press release of training part two:

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Sovannary Ky, Communication Specialist



April 7, 2023


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