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Cambodia, Bangladesh looking at a trade deal to benefit both

Bangladesh and Cambodia are working on a trade deal. This may eventually lead to a bilateral trade agreement that would drop tariffs on imports. Both countries are dependent on the garment industry as the main driver of economic growth, so they are looking at ways that trade can complement each other’s growth. A bilateral trade deal could lead to further garment production despite the countries’ competing for the same global market. If Cambodia could receive tariff-free leather, it would help bolster the kingdom’s travel goods sector, which last July received duty-free access to the United States.

Agreement has been reached on which products and items Cambodia will allow Bangladesh to import and export tariff free. Trade between the two developing nations has been minimal, amounting to just $6.7 million annually. Bangladesh’s main exports to Cambodia include garments, footwear and leather goods while Cambodia primarily exports cotton, cooking oil and fertiliser.

The countries may work to create a labor-sharing agreement that would allow Bangladeshi workers to migrate to Cambodia to fill the garment sector’s skills gap as it produces higher value-added goods. Having workers come from Bangladesh to Cambodia would be good for Cambodia because it would support future growth in manufacturing capabilities.