Cambodia-Thailand 2020 trade down Jan-Nov

Cross-border trade between Cambodia and Thailand dropped 22 percent Jan-Nov (including transit trade) compared with year-to-date (YTD) figures for the same period in 2019.  Bilateral trade for the period amounted to $6.6 billion, down from $8.6 billion in 2019 according to statistics from the Cambodian Embassy in Thailand.

Cambodian exports to Thailand totalled $1.1 billion for the period, a decline of 52 percent YTD from 2019’s $2.2 billion.

Imports from Thailand, valued at $6.3 billion, were down 12 percent YTD, from the $5.6 billion recorded January to November in 2019.  These numbers generated a Cambodian trade deficit with Thailand of $4.5 billion.

In November, Thailand’s cross-border trade with Cambodia reached $572 million. Cambodia’s exports to Thailand in November totalled $59 million, down 56 percent compared with the $135 million recorded in November  2019. Imports from Thailand in November reached $513 million, down 28 percent from the November 2019 total of $710 million.

Cambodian Ambassador to Thailand Ouk Sorphorn said that the Cambodian embassy to Thailand, through its commercial office, has provided Thai companies with up-to-date information on Cambodian investment opportunities, technical consultation and full support on the business registration process.

“Recently, we also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bangkok-based law firm iLAWASIA, to provide legal advice and support to Cambodian and Thai business people. Moreover, we are now working with Thailand’s Horeca Investment Co Ltd to set up the first-ever Cambodia Business Council Centre (CBCC), a one-stop business chamber for Cambodia in Thailand’s capital.”

Sorphorn also said the CBCC, once operational, will help to promote Cambodian products by providing information and training programmes to entrepreneurs and facilitate bilateral trade and investment between the two countries in support of the $15 billion trade goal targeted by the two nations’ prime ministers for 2021.

Chandara Chea, president of the Logistics Business Association, said the situation of imports and exports between Cambodia and Thailand is currently better than during the first COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020. However, because COVID-19 has hit Thailand so seriously, it has caused instability in Thai production lines, resulting in a decrease in exports from Thailand.

“We found that daily commodity and food exports from Thailand to Cambodia proceed normally,” he added.

According to the Cambodian ambassador to Thailand, Cambodia’s stable growth has created opportunities for Thai and other foreign firms to generate favourable returns on Cambodian investments.

Although Thailand remains in lockdown, Thai investors still seek business and investment opportunities in Cambodia, in part because many are aware of the Thai plus-one strategy, the new investment law and deep reforms spearheaded by the Cambodian government to improve the business climate for foreign investors, he added.

On Monday, Khmer Times reported Cambodian exports to the US were 6.059 billion over the first 11 months of 2020, up 17 percent on results for the same period in 2019.