Phnom Penh (FN), Aug. 15 – The Royal Government of Cambodia has recently submitted a detailed report on Cambodia’s democracy and human rights progress to the European Commission, a requirement fulfilled to maintain EU's Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential trade scheme, according to foreign affairs spokesperson Ket Sophann on Thursday.

"The report elaborates the detailed process of Cambodia in strengthening democracy, respect for human rights, freedom space, and labor rights. The Royal Government hopes to see European Commission’s transparent decisions based on the principles of laws and justice for Cambodia,” said Ket Sophann.

The European Commission announced on 11 February 2019 to begin the process that could lead to the temporary suspension of Cambodia's preferential access to the EU market under EBA.

Officials from the European Commission and the European External Action Service undertook a mission to Cambodia from 3 to 10 June 2019 to address some major issues related to human rights and labor rights in Cambodia. The mission could lead to the temporary withdrawal of Cambodia’s trade preferences, according to the committee’s press release dated June 11.

Following mid-August, the EU will produce a report of its findings and conclusions and that Cambodia will have one month to reply to this report.

EBA is one of the EU's Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), which allows vulnerable developing countries to pay fewer or no duties on exports to the EU, giving them vital access to the EU market and contributing to their growth. The EBA scheme unilaterally grants duty-free and quota-free access to the European Union for all products (except arms and ammunition) for the world's Least Developed Countries, as defined by the United Nations.