Cambodia-US trade surges 45% to $5,892 million

The bilateral trade between Cambodia and the United States rose 45 percent to $5,892 million in the first seven months of this year compared to the same period last year.

Cambodia’s export to the US surged 47 percent to $5,695 million in the January-July period of 2022, from the same period a year ago, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise of the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

The Kingdom’s imports from the US also increased slightly by three percent year-on-year to $196 million.

Cambodia’s major exports to America include textiles, footwear, travel goods and agricultural products, while the country imports vehicles, animal feed and machinery.

Analysing the bilateral trade figures, Anthony Galliano, president of AmCham Cambodia, told Khmer Times, “For the remainder of 2022, I expect US bilateral trade with Cambodia to slow as it has in recent months given the contraction in the US economy and for EU bilateral trade to increase.”

Highlighting the sectors that helped boost the exports of Cambodia in the last seven months, he said, “Cambodia ranks 49th as a trade partner with the US, and that is overwhelming due to exports to the US. Consequentially the US trade deficit with Cambodia is well over $6 billion.  The US’ largest imports from Cambodia are knit apparel, leather products, woven apparel, furniture and bedding and footwear.”

He also picked agriculture trade as a sector that could enhance the trade ties between countries in future.

“Agricultural trade with the US is small, and this is an opportunity to increase bilateral trade cooperation.  Cambodia signed a free trade agreement with China enhancing economic cooperation and with a strong focus on boosting agricultural trade.  While there isn’t an expectation of any bilateral trade agreements between the US and Cambodia to be signed in the short to medium term, agriculture is an area of potential growth.”

Galliano also pointed out some of the main issues that could hinder the growth prospects in future.

“The bilateral trade relationship faces challenges as the US rolls out the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), the core of its Asia-Pacific economic strategy and the expected genesis of future US trade agreement in the region.  Thirteen other Indo-Pacific states are members, while Cambodia is not a part of it.  This will present future challenges to the bilateral trade relationship between the two countries as US trade will gravitate toward IPEF members.”

Meanwhile, the US Department of State said in a recent statement that Cambodia had benefitted greatly from the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

Cambodia exported goods worth $8.7 billion to the US in 2021, an increase of 33 percent from 2020. The garment, footwear, and travel goods sectors make up the majority of the Kingdom’s exports and together employ more than one million Cambodians, the majority of whom are women, the statement pointed out.

Last week, the Kingdom reported that its international trade rose 21.3 percent to $32.82 billion in the first seven months of this year.

The country’s exports increased 30.7 percent to $13.78 billion during the January-July period of 2022 compared to the same period last year.

The Kingdom’s total imports rose by 15.4 percent to $19.05 billion.