Redefining Relations : India and Cambodia

The bilateral relations between India and Cambodia have always been warm and cordial. In the 1950s, India was associated with the International Control Commission on Indo-China. After the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime, India had recognized the new government and re-opened its Embassy in Phnom Penh in 1981 when much of the world had severed ties with Cambodia.

In the backdrop of a good relationship, today on the 27th of January 2018, India and Cambodia signed four agreements, including one to improve cooperation in prevention, investigation of crimes and legal assistance in criminal matters and a line of credit from India to fund Cambodia’s Stung Sva Hab water resources development project for US dollars 36.92 million.

Cambodia’s trade relations with India mostly include imports of drugs and pharmaceutical products from India while exports back primary products such as non-ferrous metals. In total, Cambodia has had a trade deficit of $89 million with India in 2016.

Talks regarding exchanges of senior-level defence personnel and capacity-building projects occurred between Prime Minister Modi and his Cambodian counterpart Samdech Hun Sen in order to strengthen defense ties.

Discussions regarding how to improve trade, agriculture, tourism, energy conservation and tourism also took place. Investments from India to Cambodia were forseen by the Cambodian Prime Minister as he stated-“I invite Indian investors to my country. [I am hopeful and expecting that the] Indian investors will go to Cambodia. Indian tourists and investors should come to Cambodia.”

A pact to improve cultural exchanges and an MoU was signed to prevent human trafficking. PM Hun Sen received a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhawan after which he paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat. On his visit, he also met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. The two leaders discussed upon issues of mutual interest related to development partnership, trade, investment, Human Resource Development (HRD) and people-to-people contacts.

Khymer times noted this visit as the one that “gives credible optimism for a bolstered trade relationship between the two countries.”


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