Cambodia government failed to reassure the European Union it will address democratic and human right issues that have put its trade preferences with the bloc at risk, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said after a summit with Asian leaders.
EU officials have confirmed that it will take a total of 18 months to complete the procedure if Cambodia’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement is to be withdrawn.
European Union decision to ramp up trade pressure on Cambodia has alarmed unions in its garment industry, a pillar of the economy that employs about 700,000 people.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) expressed “serious concerns” about rights violations against lawmakers from Cambodia’s now-dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) and called for a meeting with CNRP chief Kem Sokha, who is currently held under house arrest.
The president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Gabriela Cuevas Barron, also has refuted a claim by the National Assembly that she “highly appreciated the achievements of Cambodia” in its July national elections with a tweet saying “Of course not!” before adding “No congratulations”.
Russia has agreed to recategorize the $1.5 billion Cambodian debt as an investment and pledged to provide aid to Cambodia next year.
Prime Minister Hun Sen who is in Brussels with a delegation to attend the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting from October 18 to 19, is set to have separate bilateral meetings with leaders such as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.