PHNOM PENH: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will witness the signing of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTA), which will further strengthen the bilateral trade ties between Malaysia and Cambodia, during his official three-day visit to the country from Sept 2 to 4.
The inking of the DTA is one of the main agenda of Mahathir’s visit to Cambodia, which is the first after being returning as prime minister for the second time after the May 2018 general election.
Malaysian Ambassador to Cambodia Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim said the agreement was also hoped to boost investment and trade between the two countries.
“We have waited so long for the agreement ... Cambodia is the last of Asean member countries to sign the DTA with Malaysia.
“The imposition of double taxation has somehow deterred Malaysian investors from coming to Cambodia. With the DTA, more Malaysian companies can explore business and investment opportunities here,” he told Malaysian media at the Malaysian Embassy yesterday.
Eldeen Husaini said in the first three months this year, the embassy had received 20 applications from Malaysian companies keen on exploring business and investment opportunities in Cambodia, including a mega 2,000-room hotel project worth US$4 billion (RM16.82 billion).
Apart from the DTA, Mahathir will also witness the signing of the Malaysia-Cambodia tourism cooperation agreement, an effort to boost tourist arrivals to both countries.
This is Mahathir’s official visit after 25 years. His last official visit to Cambodia was in 1994.
Eldeen Husaini said Mahathir, who will be accompanied by his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, is expected to arrive here tomorrow and will have a very packed schedule upon arrival, starting with a dialogue titled “Balancing Relations with the Superpowers in the Context of Asean at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP).
The Malaysian prime minister is also scheduled to receive a courtesy call from Cambodian Muslim leader cum Senior Minister-in-charge of Islamic Affairs, Othman Hassan, meet with the Muslim community and attend a dinner with the Malaysian diaspora here before ending the first day of his visit tomorrow.
On the second day, Mahathir is scheduled to attend the wreath-laying ceremony at the Independence Monument in the capital, followed by the official welcoming ceremony at the Peace Palace, Prime Minister’s Office and a meeting with his Cambodian counterpart, Hun Seng.
The two leaders are expected to discuss issues relating to trade and investment, as well as cooperation in agriculture, defence 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 also attend a dialogue with Malaysian businessmen and investors, involving 28 Malaysian companies operating in Cambodia.
In the evening, Mahathir and Siti Hasmah will be attending the official dinner hosted by Hun Seng.
Cambodia is Malaysia’s 8th largest trading partner in Asean and the 50th in the world.
The value of Malaysia-Cambodia trade last year was US$558 million (RM2.35 billion), while in the first six months of this year, the value had reached US$422.6 million (RM1.8 billion), an increase of 39.2% compared to the corresponding period last year.