Cambodia, Vietnam firm on $10 billion trade target

Cambodia and Vietnam continue to march towards the goal of achieving the $10 billion-plus bilateral trade volume this year and taking the economic partnership to a new high. The commitment reflects in the bilateral interactions too.

The goal was also reiterated at Monday’s meeting between Prime Minister Hun Sen and visiting Chairman of the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Vuong Dinh Hue.

While during January-September of 2022 the Cambodia-Vietnam trade touched $8.45 billion, in 2021 the bilateral trade had reached $9.54 billion, which was an increase of 79 percent over the previous year.

In the earlier five-year period (2016-20) and before the Covid-19 pandemic gripped the world and ruined many economies, the Cambodia-Vietnam trade, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, expanded by 17 percent per annum and reached $5.31 billion in 2020 from $2.92 billion in 2016.

At a courtesy meeting between Prime Minister Hun Sen and Chairman of the Vietnam National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh, the two leaders appreciated the ever-strengthening economic partnership and spoke about taking the bilateral trade to $10 billion this year, according to Eang Sophalleth, Personal Assistant to the Cambodian Premier.

The Prime Minister said the good economic partnership will help promote the relations between the two countries in terms of politics and other domains. The Vietnamese leader expressed happiness over the good relationship and cooperation, especially on trade between the two neighbours, and also congratulated Cambodia on its rapid development.

According to available data, Vietnam has 198 investment projects in Cambodia with registered capital of $2.92 billion. Also, among the ASEAN member states, it is the largest trading partner ($3.26 billion) in Cambodia.

Overall, Vietnam is the third largest trading partner of Cambodia after China and the United States of America.

At the Cambodia-Vietnam Investment and Trade Forum 2022 on November 8, where Vietnam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh was present, Mr Hun Sen said Cambodia may connect with the automotive and electronics production chains through the development of a special country strategy. The Cambodia Prime Minister also spoke about increasing cooperation in developing infrastructure along the Southern Economic Corridor to boost trade and tourism.

The two premiers witnessed the signing of 11 cooperation documents on land transport; agricultural cooperation; border trade; commerce; television and radio cooperation; telecom, ICT (information and communications technology), digital transformation; labour; financial innovation, and payment systems.

Of Cambodia’s total trade ($8.624 billion – import $6.798 billion and export $1.826 billion) in the first half of 2022 with ASEAN member states, Thailand ranks second after Vietnam. Export from Cambodia amounts to $495.78 million and imports $1.8 billion of the $2.29 billion trade between the two countries.

Singapore ranks third with $ 2.07 billion in trade, Indonesia fourth ($465.21 million), Myanmar fifth ($325.60 million), Laos sixth ($106.91 million) the Philippines seventh ($64.04 million), Malaysia eighth ($13.79 million) and Brunei comes ninth with a trade volume of $11.32 million.