Phnom Penh, Cambodia – The European Union has warned Cambodia that the “clock is ticking” after it officially launched the process of suspending the country’s valuable trade privileges over rights concerns, paving the way for a move that analysts warn would be “catastrophic” to its economy.
The so-called Everything But Arms (EBA) trade scheme allows Cambodia to export products other than weapons to the EU at reduced tariff rates.
Revoking the favourable deal would cost Cambodia’s economy $676m, according to the Southeast Asian country’s minister of commerce. It would also result in expected mass layoffs in the key garment industry, which employs 800,000 people and has historically been prone to protests.
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