Cambodia wants GSP for its garment and footwear exports to the US. GSP is a preferential trade treatment. The US is due to review its GSP program for least-developed countries by the end of the year. Currently, GSP coverage for Cambodia does not include garment and footwear articles -- major export products for Cambodia. Only 82.6 per cent of Cambodian products currently enjoy preferential trade treatment with the US.
If the US accedes to the request, it would help the Cambodian economy in terms of export growth, new investment and employment generation for thousands of Cambodians. Australia, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland give preferential trade treatment to 100 per cent of Cambodian products. The European Union, under the Everything but Arms treaty, allows the import of 99 per cent of products duty and quota free.
Canada gives preferential treatment to 98.6 per cent of Cambodian products, Japan to 97.9 per cent and China to 97 per cent. In July last year, the US granted duty-free benefits for Cambodia for the export of travel goods such as luggage, backpacks, handbags and wallets under GSP. There are some 60 registered footwear manufacturing factories in Cambodia and exported $700 million worth of goods last year.