21% rise in Cambodia’s trade, US the biggest export market

Cambodia’s international trade rose to $32.82 billion in the first seven months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 21.3 percent, and the United States is the biggest market for the country accounting for 43 percent of the Kingdom’s total exports.

From January to July, Cambodia exported $13.78 billion worth of goods to foreign markets, up 30.7 percent compared to the same period last year, showed the latest report of the General Department of Customs and Excise.

The Kingdom’s total imports rose by 15.4 percent during the same period to $19.05 billion.

The US remains the biggest market for Cambodian products, with 43 percent of the Kingdom’s total exports or $5.69 billion, a 47.3 percent year-on-year increase, the report underlined. The spike in exports to the US is remarkable considering the still pending renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

Vietnam and China were ranked second and third, importing $1.32 billion and $701 million worth of products from Cambodia, respectively, it added.

Meanwhile, China remained the largest trading partner of Cambodia, followed by the US, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore, the report said.

Trade volume between Cambodia and China was valued at $6.97 billion in the first seven months of 2022, up 15.6 percent year-on-year.

The report noted that trade with China accounted for 21 percent of Cambodia’s total trade volume of 32.8 billion dollars during the January-July period.

The resumption of socio-economic activities, trade pacts such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and bilateral free trade agreement with China have been cited as reasons for the spurt in production and trade. The significant growth in production and trade is also due to Cambodia’s high vaccination rates.

Garment, footwear and travel goods shared almost 50 percent of the total commodity exports, followed by non-garment products and agricultural products.

Dr Ky Sereyvath, Director of the Institute of China Studies and economist at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told Khmer Times that the early reopening of the economy had helped the revival of the production chain leading to the spike in exports.

“The trend indicates that the total trade will return to the pre-Covid-19 level soon,” Dr Sereyvath said. “But orders for the garment sector have seen a drop due to the European crisis (following the Russia-Ukraine war),” he noted.

“Cambodia still has a number of preferential trade systems, such as the Everything But Arms (EBA) of European Union. But, exports can still go down later this year due to the crisis in Europe and global inflation,” Dr Sereyvath said.

There was also relocation of factories from neighbouring countries to Cambodia to take advantage of the early reopening of the economy and this has also contributed to the spike in production and exports.

Source: https://www.khmertimeskh.com/501130562/21-rise-in-cambodias-trade-us-the-biggest-export-market/