The National Assembly of Cambodia on Thursday ratified the air transport agreement between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China.

Sixty-five lawmakers of the ruling Cambodian People's Party, including Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, unanimously approved the pact as opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's lawmakers continued their boycott over a legal action against their deputy leader in a scandal.

Mao Havannall, Secretary of State of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, said the agreement would provide a lot of advantages to Cambodia and the whole ASEAN region.

"It will boost the growth of air transport between Cambodia and ASEAN and between ASEAN and China," he said during the assembly session.

"It will also increase international relations and cooperation in trade, economics, culture, tourism and transport between ASEAN and China through opening new international flights between ASEAN and China."

He added that the agreement would also increase more confidence among airline operators and encourage more private enterprises to invest in air transport infrastructure connectivity between ASEAN and China.

Nin Saphon, chairwoman of the National Assembly's Commission of Public Works, Transport, and Telecommunication, said the agreement was signed during the ASEAN-China Transport Ministers' meeting in Brunei in 2010.

"The agreement aims to establish integrated, efficient and competitive international air transportation between ASEAN and China to enhance trade, the welfare of consumers and economic growth," she said.

"It is also to contribute to the progress of regional and international civil aviation by gradual liberalization of air transport between ASEAN and China," she added.

Source: China Post