Ministry of Commerce’s Reaction to EU’s Rice Safeguard Measures

AKP Phnom Penh, January 18, 2019 —

The Cambodian Ministry of Commerce has reacted against the decision of the European Union to impose safeguard measures on Cambodian rice.

According to the ministry’s statement issued yesterday evening, this decision does not fully reflect the legal aspect of international trade, technical norms and veracity, as well as the good cooperation between the Royal government and private sector of Cambodia and the European Community.

In the past nearly 15 years, it added, as a member of the World Trade Organisation, the total trade exchange between Cambodia and Europe has seen a remarkable increase, from about US$942 million in 2005 to US$8.44 billion with an annual-simple average growth rate of about 60 percent.

The two sides have discussed and resolved bilateral issues well through the mechanism of Cambodia-European Union Joint Committee, held from Mar. 12 to 14, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium, it pointed out, stressing that the result of this good cooperation has increased confidence among businessmen and investors of the European Community to do business and invest in Cambodia, and businessmen, especially hundreds of thousands of poor Cambodian farmers, who earned income from exporting rice to the European Community, congratulated and encouraged the Royal Government of Cambodia to continue this good cooperation with the European Union.

The EU’s safeguard measures will affect the income of Cambodian poor farmers and is a weapon to kill them and their families who are in debt with various credit institutions, it underlined.

The Ministry of Commerce is examining this decision based on legal aspect and international trade rules in order to continue protesting against the decision regarded by Cambodian people as inaccurate​ and no social and economic veracity, continued the statement.

The Ministry of Commerce is joining with the total 16 million people to call upon the European Commission to review its decision based on international trade rules and traditional cooperation between Cambodia and the European Union.

By Khan Sophirom