PHNOM PENH: Malaysia and Cambodia are expected to conclude an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation or DTA which will further strengthen bilateral and trade links between both nations.
This will be the main agenda of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad during his three-day official visit to Cambodia, which will kick-off tomorrow.
The prime minister who is undertaking the visit at the invitation of his Cambodian counterpart, Hun Sen, will be accompanied by his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali during the visit.
The last time Dr Mahathir made a working visit to the kingdom was 25 years ago.
Malaysian Ambassador to Cambodia, Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim, described the agreement between the Asean bloc nations as a platform which will facilitate and enhance trade activities especially in terms of exports and investments.
“Cambodia is the last country in the region to sign the agreement with Malaysia, which would bring long-term benefits for the business community in both countries.
“The agreement has a positive implication towards our trade performance since Cambodia is Malaysia’s eight biggest trade partner in Asean, and 50th biggest trade partner in the world,” he told Malaysian media here today.
Eldeen Husaini said the trade value between Malaysia and Cambodia for the first half of this year reached RM17.8 billion, which is an increase of 39.2 per cent compared to the same period in 2018, encompassing various industries and services sectors including hospitality industry.
“We expect to see positive growth in terms of trade value between Malaysia and Cambodia after the agreement is concluded, since it provides many benefits to the business communities in both countries.
“I am confident the DTA will boost Malaysia’s position as Cambodia’s main strategic investment partner after the United Kingdom, South Korea and China.
“The agreement would also provide more opportunities for companies from Malaysia to expand their wings and explore the market in Cambodia,” he said.
The envoy adds that the Malaysian Embassy in Cambodia had received 20 applications from companies in Malaysia to explore the market in the Indochina nation.
“Among the projects, includes is the construction of a hotel with 2,000 rooms worth US$ 4 billion (about RM16.8 million),” he said.
Another highlight of Dr Mahathir’s visit would be the signing memorandum of understanding (MoU) tourism cooperation which would stimulate tourism industries in both countries.
Dr Mahathir, said Edleen Husaini, will also attend a dialogue session involving academic staff and students at Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP).
The 93-year-old politician, who made history after making a comeback into the country’s political scene leading Pakatan Harapan coalition to victory, last year, is also expected to be the focus at the dialogue session.
“The prime minister is also scheduled to visit Cambodia’s Independence Monument before attending a state welcome at the Peace Palace and will hold bilateral talks with Hun Sen.
“The two leaders are also expected to issue a joint statement after the signing of the DTA and MoU on the tourism cooperation in enhancing bilateral ties between Malaysia and Cambodia.”