Cambodia: Cambodia has urged the USA to review Generalised System of Preference for Duty-Free and Quota-Free (GSP-DFQF) access. The Southeast Asian country is aiming to boost the exports of its key commodities such as apparel, luggage and leather goods through better GSP-DFQF access in the North America region.
The recommendation to review the access was given by Ok Boung, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia during the 4th Joint Committee on Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) in Washington.
Boung underlined that the USA Government declared to give DFQF to at least 97 per cent products imported from Cambodia under Least Developed Country (LDC) quota in the year 2005. “But Cambodia has only got DFQF status for just 82.6 per cent of the country’s products by 2017 and it also does not include the significant products that Cambodia holds a strong position in,” commented Boung.
Cambodia is getting benefits of tax preferences from most of the developed countries it is associated with from a trade perspective. Australia, Norway, New Zealand and Switzerland are already providing 100 per cent tax preferences to Cambodia whereas the EU (European Union) Canada, Japan and China are granting 99 per cent, 98.6 per cent, 97.9 per cent and 97 per cent tax benefits to the country, respectively.
Boung further stated that DFQF system has been granted on a large scale for the LDCs in Africa and the Americas continents whereas the USA is not putting its serious attention on apparel exporters among the Asian LDCs.
The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) has also supported the request of the Ministry of Commerce to review the GSP. GMAC emphasized that the improvement in working condition of the apparel workers was the criteria set by the USA while offering preferential benefits to LDCs which has now been taken care of.