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Outgoing envoy hopes Cambodia listens to EU's concerns

29
Aug '19
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
Outgoing European Union (EU) ambassador to Cambodia George Edgar recently said he hopes Phnom Penh will address EU’s concerns regarding compliance with conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the United Nations (UN). He said he does not want to see Cambodia lose the trade preferences enjoyed under the Everything-But-Arms (EBA) scheme.

About half of Cambodia’s exports are to the EU.

“We have underlined repeatedly that [the suspension of the EBA] is not the necessary outcome of the procedure and it is not the outcome the European Union wants to see,” Cambodian media quoted him as saying.

“Our sincere hope is that the Cambodian authorities will address the issue in an effective way and that there is no need for Cambodia’s access to EBA to be called into question,” the outgoing ambassador said.

In February, the EU started a six-month process of intense monitoring and engagement that could lead to the temporary suspension of Cambodia’s preferential access to the bloc’s market under the EBA scheme.

The Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) recently urged the EU to save the livelihoods of half a million families by halting the process to withdraw the EBA scheme.

In a statement, CRF said cancelling the trade scheme would be a ‘painful’ addition to the duties that the bloc imposed on Cambodia earlier this year to protect European producers.

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) has also joined calls to halt the EBA removal process. In a recent statement, it said the livelihood of 750,000 workers and the welfare of 3 million Cambodians are at stake. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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