Cambodia Knocks on Malaysia’s Door 

PHNOM PENH – Cambodia’s and Malaysia’s prime ministers have sought opportunities in tourism, energy security, banking and finance, the food industry and investments. 

Agreements were made during Prime Minister Hun Manet’s official visit to Malaysia and the Cambodia-Malaysia Business Forum 2024 on Feb. 27.

During the meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Seri Anwar Bin Ibrahim, Manet noted the improvement in the relationship, and exchanged views on the current cooperation on politics, security, trade and investment, telecommunications, information technology and digital technology.

Both sides discussed the opportunity to increase flights from Malaysia to Cambodia’s major tourism destinations such as Siem Reap province. 

Both agreed to boost cooperation in defense. This included human resource training, capacity building, information exchange and joint exercises.

In terms of energy security, both supported the facilitation for the Undersea Cable Project (Laos-Cambodia-Singapore), transmitting energy from Cambodia to Singapore by crossing Malaysia. 

Supporting Halal industry via financial sector 

On the same day, Prime Minister Hun Manet encouraged Dato Khairussaleh Ramli, executive director of Maybank, to review the possibility of building the halal food ecosystem — Islamic lawful or permissible products or services reflecting their lifestyle — in Cambodia.

Maybank, having operated in Cambodia since 1990, is important in facilitating clients and other actors in creating the halal industry in the country, aiming for exports, Hun Manet said.

 Prime Minister Hun Manet and Dato Khairussaleh Ramli, executive director of Maybank

Hun Manet also urged the bank to continue working with the National Bank of Cambodia, especially on cross-bank payments, to boost the banking and financial sector.  

MoU signed and experience shared

In the Cambodia-Malaysia Business Forum 2024, both countries signed on two memorandums of understanding, with Malaysia’s Chamber of Commerce and National Industry and with the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce based in Cambodia. 

The documents aim to enhance commercial relations as well as business opportunities between the countries. 

The Cambodia-Malaysia Business Forum 2024

Trade reached $632 million in 2023, up 1.9 percent compared to last year. Cambodia’s imports were worth $527 million while the exports were $105 million, according to Cambodian General Department of Customs and Excise. 

During another meeting, Malaysia’s Senate President Datuk Mutang Tagal praised the rapid infrastructure development in Cambodia, especially the new Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport. 

Hun Manet then was asked to share key recommendations and experience for the successful projects and growing economy. He also shared his appreciation for Malaysia’ contribution to Cambodia’s development since 1990. 

 Prime Minister Hun Manet and Malaysia’s Senate President Datuk Mutang Tagal

Both agreed that peace is essential in developing countries and are looking forward to exchanges of high-level delegations. 

Hun Manet also paid a courtesy visit to the 17th King of Malaysia Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, and met with the YB Tan Sri Dato Johari bin Abdul, the President of the National Assembly. 

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