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As trade deal negotiations are set to wrap up soon, the South Korean parliamentarian is set to promote trade and collaboration on his upcoming visit to Cambodia.
PHNOM PENH--South Korea’s Speaker of the National Assembly Park Byeong-seug will pay an official visit to Cambodia next month, according to the National Assembly of Cambodia on Monday (Oct. 19).
South Korean Ambassador Park Heung-kyeong informed Cambodia’s President of the National Assembly Heng Samrin of Park Byeong-seug’s request to visit Cambodia in early November 2020 during a meeting on Monday, the assembly said in statement.
The statement went on to say that the visit aims to strengthen and expand cooperation between the two countries’ parliaments.
“The National Assembly President Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin welcomed the visit of His Excellency the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea to Cambodia and the National Assembly of Cambodia is ready to welcome this important visit,” the statement noted.
If Park’s visit happens as planned, he will be the third foreign dignitary to visit Cambodia this year, following Japan’s Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Park assumed his current position in June 2020 after his Democratic Party won general election.
During the meeting at the National Assembly, Samrin said he deeply appreciated the good relations, friendship and cooperation between the two countries in the past years, which has brought great benefits for the people of the two countries.
“The Republic of Korea has been playing an important role in contributing to the development of Cambodia, such as health infrastructure and rural development. Samdech requested the Republic of Korea to increase the quota of Cambodians to work in South Korea,” the statement continued.
Currently, there are an estimated 40,000 Cambodians working in the Republic of Korea.
Park said that South Korea will provide additional assistance to Cambodia in its demining effort over the course of the upcoming year, while another symbol of the relationship between the two countries could emerge as Seoul looks set to help build the first ever Cambodia-Korea Friendship Bridge across the Mekong River in Phnom Penh.
Cambodia and South Korea formally established diplomatic relations in 1997, but the bilateral trade between the two has significantly increased over recent years. The volume of bilateral trade between two countries reached $1 billion in 2019 and Korean investment in Cambodia has grown to more than $5 billion—making South Korea the second largest investor in Cambodia after China.
In a move to push for more cooperation, Cambodia and South Korea are negotiating a free trade agreement with the two sides seeking more diversified markets for their products. The negotiation started in July 2020 and are expected to conclude at the end of this year, hot off the back of Cambodia’s recently signed trade deal with China.
South Korea so far has bilateral free trade agreements with two ASEAN countries; Singapore and Vietnam. The country has also been in negotiations for more FTAs with Malaysia and the Philippines.