Phnom Penh, February 11, 2020 –Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen has once again called on his compatriots not to worry too much of the possible removal of EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential trade scheme.
“Don’t panic. As an independent country, we need to have the ability to solve our problem. Before, we could survive even without EBA. If they don’t revoke it (EBA), we thank them, if not we just pay taxes. We’ll lose that EBA one day […],” stressed Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the groundbreaking ceremony for the improvement project of National Road (NR) No. 2 and NR22 from Kandal province to Takeo province this morning.
The European Commission will decide whether or not to withdraw EBA from Cambodia tomorrow. If it is removed, the decision will take effect in six months, not now, he added.
The Cambodian Premier took the opportunity to clarify that there would be some factories suspending their operations in the near future, not due to the loss of EBA, but to the lack of raw materials from China as Chinese factories extended shutdowns amid coronavirus.
Regarding the EBA, Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen also raised the issue in a meeting with Lao President H.E. Bounnhang Vorachith during the latter’s recent visit to Cambodia.
At that time, Samdech Techo Hun Sen said that Cambodia would lose EBA completely or some parts of it, but if the EU cuts off the EBA completely, they would have no right to talk to Cambodia about human rights and democracy in the Kingdom.