Cuts in Tariffs Called Not Harmful

Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong said Monday that the country should not suffer financially as it moves toward eliminating customs taxes, although he would not say exactly what goods Cambodia can produce for export to offset the loss.

Hor Namhong spoke during a Konrad Adenauer Foundation Asian-German Editors Forum, reiterating Cambodia’s commitment to Asean, including a plan to gradually reduce import tariffs between member countries to zero over the next 15 years.

“I am convinced with the support of Asean and the international community [Cambodia’s] integration will be smooth,” Hor Namhong said.

Touching on a wide range of topics, Hor Namhong also stressed the need for the region to develop its tourism industry, which he described as one of the Cambodian government’s highest economic objectives.

Though he acknowledged Cambodia was not as developed as some other Asean members and would need help from both them and the international community, Hor Namhong said Cam­bodia is putting in place several programs that would eventually allow it to stand on its own.

“We want to prove to donor countries Cambodia does not intend to forever remain a simple recipient,” he said.



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