India, Cambodia discuss investment treaty, UPI collaboration

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New Delhi: India and South East Asian nation Cambodia are negotiating collaboration in UPI-based digital payment to promote trade and tourism, the commerce ministry said on Thursday.

Both sides also deliberated upon diversification of the trade basket by identifying new products, bilateral investment treaty, recognition of Indian pharmacopoeia and collaboration in the pharma sector.

These issues among others were discussed during the second meeting of the India-Cambodia Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment (JWGTI) here on Wednesday.

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

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

"The meeting discussed the progress of the ongoing efforts for collaboration in (Unified Payment Interface) UPI-based digital payment to promote trade and tourism," it said in a statement.

India has already collaborated with countries like the UAE on UPI.

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

Mahajan mentioned the measures for deepening bilateral trade and investment and also emphasised on creation of mechanisms for cooperation and collaboration in sectors of mutual interest.

The Cambodian side elaborated on the numerous investment opportunities that Cambodia presents for Indian businesses.

The JWGTI was first held in July 2022 virtually. This was the first physical meeting after it was institutionalised.

Cambodia is a member of the 10-nation Asian bloc. Asean (Association of southEast Asian Nations) members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

India has a free trade agreement with Asian and it was implemented in 2009.

The bilateral trade between India and Cambodia has increased to USD 403.78 million (exports USD 185.39 million and imports USD 218.4 million) in 2023-24 from USD 366.44 million in 2022-23.

The principal commodities exported from India are pharmaceutical products, bovine meat, motor vehicles (autos, motorcycles and spare parts), raw hides and leather, and chemicals. The main imports include chemicals, vegetable oil, articles of apparel and clothing, and footwear.