Cambodian PM Hun Sen Shrugs Off Looming Loss of EU Preferential Trade Status

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday waived off concerns over pressure from the European Union to improve the country’s human rights record or risk losing its preferential trade status, saying that his government is prepared to pay additional taxes and make a profit even without the trade scheme.

The European Commission (EC), the EU’s executive branch, launched an investigation in February into Cambodia’s rights record to determine whether it would withdraw the country’s Everything But Arms (EBA) status, which gives developing nations tariff-free access to the bloc’s markets for all products except arms and ammunition.

In a confidential report issued on Nov. 12 and obtained by RFA through official sources, the EU warns Hun Sen’s government that it has not taken enough measures to prevent a loss of its special trade privileges, noting the country’s further deterioration of civil, political, labor, social, and cultural rights since the launch of the review process.

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