Phnom Penh (FN), Jan. 29 – Cambodian ruling party spokesman Sok Eysan said Tuesday that Sam Rainsy, self-exiled former opposition leader, used all forms of tricks and frauds on Everything But Arm (EBA) scheme to achieve his will.

When the EU begins the formal procedures to withdraw EBA from Cambodia, Rainsy said he can lobby the EU to continue EBA provided that there are political settlements in Cambodia, Sok Eysan stated, adding that “the convicted Rainsy dared to use all tricks just to fulfil his wicked ambitions.”

Sam Rainsy once again intended to destroy Cambodia’s interests by appealing to the European Union to withdraw EBA, initiative that all imports from the Least Developed Countries to the EU are duty-free and quota-free, with the exception of armaments.

EBA so far has played a key role in promoting economic growth and poverty reduction in the Kingdom. The EU is currently Cambodia’s largest export market. The EU has imported approximately $5.7 billion worth of products from Cambodia under the EBA, dominated by textiles, footwear and agricultural products.

It seems that the convicted Rainsy is violating the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Article 49 stipulates that: “Every Khmer citizen has the obligation to participate in the national construction and to defend the motherland.”

For Cambodia, EBA provides many benefits to the agriculture industry, in particular, rice and a number of other potential products. In the last couple of years, Cambodia significantly increased rice export to EU, specially, to France and Italy. The garments exported to EU also increased, according to the ministry of commerce.

Business leaders in Cambodia expressed concern over the possible withdrawal of such preferential trade scheme.

“The decision to withdraw EBA will impose serious economic damage on Cambodia and would neglect the tremendous efforts undertaken by the Cambodian private sector to align its values and policies with the economic model championed by the European Union,” Cambodian business leaders wrote in the statement last week.

They also urged the EU – Cambodia’s second largest trading partner – to continue its unwavering support of Cambodia's development by refraining from taking any action that will harm the interests and livelihoods of the country's people.