Malaysia and Cambodia are set to ink a double-taxation avoidance (DTA) agreement to boost their bilateral trade ties.
The agenda is part of Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s agenda during his three-day visit in Cambodia beginning September 2 to 4. It is also the first after being appointed as Malaysia’s prime minister for the second time after the May 2018 general elections.
Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim, Malaysian ambassador to Cambodia, noted that the latter was the last member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to sign a double-taxation agreement with Malaysia.
“The imposition of double taxation has somehow deterred Malaysian investors from coming to Cambodia,” he was quoted as saying.
“We have waited so long for the agreement,” he added.
With the agreement in place, Hashim said more Malaysian companies can now explore business and investment opportunities in Cambodia.
In the first three months of 2019 alone, 20 applications have been pledged by Malaysian firms on business and investment opportunities in Cambodia, including a 2,000-room hotel project worth $4 billion.
Apart from the DTA, Mahathir will also witness the signing of the Malaysian-Cambodia tourism cooperation agreement which was aimed at boosting tourist arrivals to both countries.
Mahathir’s visit this month will be his first after 25 years. His last official visit to Cambodia was in 1994.
During his visit, the Malaysian prime minister is expected to meet with the Muslim community at the request of Cambodian Muslim leader cum Senior Minister-in-charge of Islamic Affairs, Othman Hassan.
He is also scheduled to attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Independence Monument, to be followed by the official welcoming ceremony at the Peace Palace, Prime Minister’s Office and a meeting with his Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. The two leaders are expected to discuss issues on trade and investment, as well as cooperations in agriculture, defense and halal industry development.
Both prime ministers are also expected to issue a joint statement at the end of the meeting.
On the same day, Mahathir will attend a dialogue with Malaysian businessmen and investors, involving 28 Malaysian companies operating in Cambodia.
In the evening, He and and Dr Siti Hasmah will be attending an official dinner hosted by Hun Sen.
Cambodia is Malaysia’s 8th largest trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the 50th in the world.
As of last year, Malaysia-Cambodia trade value stood at $558 million, while during the first six months of 2019 alone, the value had reached $422.6 million, marking a 39.2-percent increase as compared with the same period last year.
PHOTO COURTESY: FLICKR