It was at midnight on Friday, Jan 31, Brussels time, that the United Kingdom officially ended its membership of the European Union, one of the largest trading blocs in the world.
If the European Parliament and the Council do not objecting to the decision, it will take effect on Aug 12.
Falling exports prompting farmers, exporters to find ways to ensure sustainability of rice bowl
The European Union’s involvement in Cambodia trade is usually defined by the Everything But Arms (EBA) Treaty, a free-trade agreement that many fear will expire soon.
The free trade deal and investment protection agreement signed between the European Union and Vietnam, by itself, is not worrying Cambodia which had anticipated it for awhile now.
Cambodia milled rice (fragrant rice) exports to its single largest market European Union dropped 33.87 percent to 65,552 tonnes between January and April, 2019 from 99,138 tonnes in 2018, signalling a significant fall on the heels of the bloc’s safeguard clause instituted this January 19.
Despite European Union-imposed tariff on rice exports, drought, and other challenges, Cambodia’s agricultural sector is expected to see growth in the coming years.
One way or another, Cambodia’s preferential treatment will run its course but why not prepare for it by starting the diversification process now?
After years of lobbying by the private sector for reduced public holidays, Cambodia has finally relented to slice off seven days, in the name of productivity, and making itself competitive.
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday says rice exporters should turn to China and Vietnam in an effort to diversify the export market from the European Union.