Cambodia and Timor-Leste have agreed to boost cooperation in air service and rice trade areas and to further strengthen the mutual relations.
This was stated at a meeting between Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta in Phnom Penh on Thursday.
They spoke highly of the relations between Cambodia and Timor-Leste and improvements over the years in it due to mutual trust and reaffirmed to enhance cooperation in trade and economy.
Prime Minister Hun Sen and President Jose Ramos-Horta witnessed the signing of agreements on air service and rice trade.
The air trade agreement was signed by the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation and its Timor-Leste counterpart. The air trade pact will help step up passenger and cargo service between the two nations, and contribute to the economy, tourism, investment and other sectors, said SSCA’s under-secretary of state and spokesman Sin Chansereyvutha.
“The agreement will also enhance passenger flow, leading to the development of commerce, economy, tourism, investment, and other sectors between the two countries,” Chansereyvutha said.
It will also provide an opportunity for airline companies of the two countries to cooperate on code-sharing flights and direct flights between the two countries or to carry passengers from one’s own country to a second country, then from that country onward to a third country under the 5th Freedom Traffic Rights, Chansereyvutha said.
Welcoming the rice trade pact, Secretary-general of the Cambodia Rice Federation Lun Yeng said it will expand the market wider for the Kingdom’s milled rice export. “It is an additional new market for Cambodia,” Yeng said and added, technical aspects related to price, transportation, and some other issues could be worked out with firms that entered the contract of purchase.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said in September he hoped to see the country’s membership approved by ASEAN members this year so that Timor-Leste could become a full member during Indonesia’s ASEAN chairmanship in 2023.
Timor-Leste officially applied for membership in 2011 during Indonesia’s chairmanship of ASEAN. But ASEAN has yet to respond to the application due to the country’s slow economic growth and relatively high-poverty level.
The documents are a step toward strengthening cooperation between the two countries, said Lim Heng, vice president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce. It will lead to cooperation in other sectors, especially trade and investment.
He said ASEAN membership of Timor-Leste will expand the regional market. “It is good to have new membership [of Timor-Leste] in ASEAN because once we have more members, our market becomes bigger and our purchasing power is also bigger,” Heng said on Wednesday.
Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta is on a three-day state visit to Cambodia, starting October 19.
The Timor-Leste President’s visit to Cambodia will further strengthen and deepen the relations and cooperation in both bilateral and multilateral frameworks for the mutual benefit of the two countries, according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation statement.
During his stay in Cambodia, Ramos-Horta was granted a royal audience by Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and paid separate courtesy calls on Senate President Say Chhum and National Assembly President Heng Samrin.
Source: Khmer Times