Ambassadors Camillo Gonsalves of SVG and and Ambassador Dr. Sea Kosal of Cambodia.

TAIPEI, Taiwan: – St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has established diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Cambodia, the 12th country in the last 19 months.

SVG’s ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Camillo Gonsalves and his South East Asian counterpart, Dr. Sea Kosal, signed documents formalising diplomatic ties on Tuesday in New York.

Ambassador Gonsalves said that his country was honoured to be establishing relations with Cambodia, according to a press release from SVG’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

Ambassador Gonsalves said that despite the distance between both countries and their different histories and cultures, both nations had young populations, had transitioned their economies from agriculture to tourism, and were vulnerability to climate change.

He said both countries would strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation in the future.

Dr. Kosal saw the establishment of diplomatic ties as a critical first step in the strengthening of ties between the two countries.

He said his country appreciated the formalisation of ties, and echoed Ambassador Gonsalves’ sentiments regarding future cooperation and collaboration.

Cambodia, which borders Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, has a population of 14 million and in 2008 recorded a GDP of over $28 billion. Its economy is based on agriculture, textile manufacturing and tourism.

The country was scarred by wars and civil wars, beginning in the 1970s, with the rise of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.

In recent years, however, Cambodia has enjoyed peace and a rapidly expanding economy, which grew at a rate of over 10% between 2004 and 2008. In 2005, the country discovered large oil reserves, and will begin commercial extraction next year.

During the past 19 months, in addition to Cambodia, SVG has established diplomatic relations with Iran, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Republic Of Senegal, Luxembourg, Comoros, Monaco, United Arab Emirates, The Gambia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Ghana.