Cambodian exports value up 1% in February

Amid an increase in non-garment shipments despite a declining growth of garment export, the value of Cambodian exports increased by one percent in February 2023 compared with a fall of 23.6 percent recorded in January.

This positive growth is due to an uptick in non-garment export despite a declining growth of garment export, according to the Monthly Economic Update: February 2023 of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, dated March 15.

The export of apparel declined by 4.5 percent in the second month of the year compared with a fall of 20.6 percent in January.

Garment exports to the European Union came down by 14.7 percent, declined by 10.8 percent to the United Kingdom, fell by 3.5 percent to Japan and recorded a drop of 5.2 percent to ASEAN (Association of Southeast Nations) member states.

However, spelling some respite, apparel shipment to the US increased by 2.7 percent and expanded by 16.4 percent to China.

During the same period, the export of non-garment items increased by 8.6 percent in February compared to a decline of 24.7 percent in January.

This is due to positive growth in the shipment of electrical parts, bicycles, veneer, plywood, rice, cassava, banana, mango and some other agricultural products.

Excluding gold, the February export declined by 11.4 percent year-on-year, mainly due to a declining growth of garment export (-24.5 percent), while export of non-garment increased by 16.8 percent, says the Ministry of Economy and Finance update.

Cambodia’s imports declined by 14.7 percent in February compared to a 23.6 fall in the previous month. The ministry update attributes it to a 47.8 percent drop in garment material and a 21.6 percent decline in construction material import during the period under consideration.

However, says the ministry the import of consumer goods increased by 3.4 percent and the inward shipment of vehicles grew by 21.2 percent.

Excluding gold, the import in February also declined by 14.6 percent year-on-year, mostly because of negative growth in the inward shipment of almost all commodities.

As of February, current revenue amounted to 3,835 billion riels, recording an increase of 2.6 percent year-on-year and equivalent to 13.6 percent of the Budget Law, based on data from tax collection agencies (the General Department of Taxation and the General Department of Customs and Excise) and from the Financial Management Information System (FMIS) for non-tax as of March 14, 2023.

Tax receipts by the GDT were at 2,184 billion riels, reflecting a year-on-year growth of 5.3 percent and equivalent to 15.1 percent of the Budget Law.

The ministry’s updates attribute this increase to the continued domestic economic activities momentum, reflected by the positive growth rate of direct taxes and indirect tax revenues.

During the same period, the GDCE mopped up, 453 billion riels, which reflected a fall of 5.4 percent year-on-year, and equivalent to 13.1 percent of the Budget Law.

As the collection of tax revenue by the GDCE tends to have a low-performance pattern in the first few months of the year due to fewer working days, the tax revenue is expected to have an upward trend in the coming months, says the ministry.

During February the non-tax revenue increased 53 percent over the same month of the previous year to touch 198 billion riels. The non-tax revenue during the month was equivalent to 7.7 percent of
the Budget Law.

The high increase in non-tax revenue, says the ministry update, is mainly due to the increase in tourism-related revenues as the Covid-19 pandemic and its
impact eased.