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Cambodia's Hun Sen defiant despite EU trade threat

Author: Prak Chan Thul, Reuters, Published on: 9 October 2018

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has taken a defiant stance following a European Union announcement last week that it would ramp up trade pressure on Cambodia over human rights concerns. The European Union... told Cambodia on Friday it will lose its special access to the world’s largest trading bloc, and said it was considering similar trade sanctions for Myanmar, adding that it was ready to punish human rights abuses in both countries...Hun Sen said Cambodia must defend its sovereignty. Hun Sen has held power for three decades....The EU warned Cambodia in July that it could lose its special trade status after a general election that month returned Prime Minister Hun Sen to power. Rights groups said the election was not fair because of the lack of a credible opposition, among other reasons...Cambodia’s exports to the European Union were worth 5 billion euros ($5.8 billion) last year, according to EU data, up from negligible levels less than a decade ago. Cambodia’s textile, garments and footwear industry are vital to its economy. Around 40 percent of its GDP comes from garment exports.The garments sector employs more than 800,000 workers. The EU and U.S. are the country’s primary markets for exports, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).

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