India, Cambodia discuss investment pact, UPI cooperation to boost trade, tourism

India, Cambodia discuss investment pact, UPI cooperation to boost trade, tourism


UPI is India's mobile-based, 'instant payment' system that allows customers to make instant payments 24x7 using their created Virtual Payment Address (VPA).

UPI is India's mobile-based, 'fast payment' system that allows customers to make instant payments 24X7 using a Virtual Payment Address (VPA) created by the customer. | Photo Credit: Photo Credit: X/@UPI_NPCI

“India and Southeast Asian country Cambodia are discussing cooperation in Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based digital payments to boost trade and tourism,” the commerce ministry said on June 20.

The two sides also discussed diversification of trade areas by identifying new products, bilateral investment treaty, recognition of Indian Pharmacopoeia and cooperation in the pharma sector.

These issues, among others, were discussed during the second meeting of the India-Cambodia Joint Working Group (JWGTI) on Trade and Investment in New Delhi on June 19.

Pharmacopoeia is a set of standards and quality specifications for the ingredients, preparations and dosage forms of drugs manufactured, sold, consumed and exported in a country.

The Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare that sets standards for all medicines manufactured, sold and consumed in India.

“The meeting discussed the progress of ongoing efforts for cooperation in UPI-based digital payments to promote trade and tourism,” the statement said. India has already collaborated with countries like UAE on UPI.

The meeting was co-chaired by Siddharth Mahajan, Joint Secretary in the Department of Commerce, and Long Kemwichat, Director General of International Trade in the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce.

Mr Mahajan highlighted measures to enhance bilateral trade and investment and also emphasized on creating mechanisms for cooperation and collaboration in areas of mutual interest. The Cambodian side elaborated on the numerous investment opportunities offered by Cambodia for Indian businesses.

The JWGTI was first held virtually in July 2022. This was the first physical meeting after it was institutionalised. Cambodia is a member of the 10-nation ASEAN bloc. ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. India has a free trade agreement with ASEAN countries and it was implemented in 2009.

Bilateral trade between India and Cambodia is projected to increase from $366.44 million in 2022-23 to $403.78 million in 2023-24 (exports $185.39 million and imports $218.4 million).

The main items exported from India are pharmaceutical products, bovine meat, motor vehicles (auto, motorcycle and spare parts), raw hides and leather, and chemicals. The main imports include chemicals, vegetable oils, apparel and clothing items, and footwear.



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