Experts forecast RCEP to boost Cambodia’s FDI and economic growth

PHNOM PENH: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is poised to play a crucial role in attracting more foreign direct investment (FDI) to Cambodia and contributing to its sustainable economic growth, according to experts.

Cambodia entered into force on January 1, 2022, and has already had a positive impact on the country's trade and economy. The agreement paid off, Cambodia's exports to RCEP countries reached $6.34 billion in 2022, a year-on-year increase of seven percent.

H.E. Sok Siphana, Senior Minister in charge of International and Multi-lateral Trade and Economic Relations, recently said that RCEP is a huge market for Cambodia's products and will contribute to ensuring sustainable economic growth in the years to come.

Mr. , Vice-President of the Cambodia Chinese Commerce Association (), believes that Cambodia can achieve the status of a high middle-income country two years earlier in 2028 than the government's set target of 2030, thanks in part to RCEP.

He also pointed out that the proposed entry of Hong Kong into RCEP will be a “total game changer” for Cambodia's economic growth plans. Hong Kong is one of the freest, liberal, trade economies in the world.

“Hong Kong's entry into RCEP will enable the flow of FDI into Cambodia,” said Vichet. “Once Hong Kong becomes a member of RCEP, the next five years will witness a huge transformation of the Cambodian economic landscape encompassing our export markets, deep-sea port development, development of special economic zones as well as the tourism sector.”

Vichet also believes that India's entry into RCEP, which is a possibility in the near future, would be another turning point for Cambodia's economy. India is now the world's fifth-largest economy.

The RCEP, covering 2.3 billion people, or 30 percent of the world's population, contributed $26.2 trillion, about 30 percent of global GDP, and accounted for 28 percent of global trade in goods and services, and 32.5 percent of global foreign direct investment inflows.

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