On 29 September 2009, the Royal Government of Cambodia, through its Ministry of Commerce, gained access to the Tier 1 of the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) seven years after having been selected as a pilot country under the Integrated Framework (IF).
Present at a ceremony organized during the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Round Table on WTO Accession in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 28-30 September 2009, were H.E. Dr. Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister, Minister of Commerce and Chairman of the Sub-Steering Committee on Trade Development and Trade Related Investment; H.E. Pan Sorasak, Secretary of State and EIF Focal Point, Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia; Ms. Dorothy Tembo, Executive Director, Executive Secretariat for the IF at the WTO; and Mr. Jo Scheuer, Country Director, UNDP Cambodia and representative of the Donor Facilitator for Cambodia.
The Executive Secretariat for the IF officially notified Cambodia that the proposal submitted in July 2009 had been approved by consensus by the IF interim Board.
The EIF proposal for Cambodia will allow the country to enhance its national capacity to formulate, implement, manage and monitor a pro-poor trade policy that is consistent with, and supportive of, the country's National Development Plan and its Millennium Development Goals. It will provide resources to further adhere to the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. Cambodia successfully updated its Diagnosis Trade Integration Strategy in 2007 and embarked on an ambitious Sector Wide Approach in Trade for the implementation of its trade integration strategy piloted by the National Implementation Unit (D/ICO) of the Ministry of Commerce.
The IF for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries is a process that was first established in 1997 to support LDC governments in trade capacity building and integrating trade issues into overall national development strategies. The IF has two objectives: (1) to “mainstream” (integrate) trade into the national development plans, such as the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) of LDCs; and (2) to assist in the coordinated delivery of trade-related technical assistance in response to needs identified by the LDCs. The IF is built on the principles of country ownership and partnership.
The EIF proposal had been developed under the framework of the UNDP/Ministry of Commerce TRADE project. It will provide US$ 1,694,600, of which US$ 1,493,000 is contributed by the EIF Trust Fund and US$ 200,700 by the Royal Government of Cambodia. An important part of the resources available will be used to share Cambodia's trade mainstreaming experiences and best practices with other LDCs, as exemplified by the current LDC Round Table.