In the first quarter of this year, Cambodia’s bicycle exports to foreign markets reached more than $278 million, marking an increase of 19.59 per cent over the same period in 2022, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

The bicycles were primarily exported to the US, UK, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, while Cambodia imported some bicycles from Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand and the US.

Ministry spokesman Penn Sovicheat said the growth of Cambodia’s exports continued to increase, noting that a senior commerce official met with the Vietnamese side in mid-2022 to discuss continuing to supply raw materials for bicycle production to the EU and the US.

“Nowadays, Cambodia does not have any shortage of raw materials or semi-finished products for bicycle production, but we negotiated with Vietnam to make the supply of those products from Vietnam sustainable,” he explained.

Sovicheat said the ministry expects that in the future bicycle exports will continue to grow and that it hopes to attract investors willing to establish factories to produce spare parts or semi-finished products in Cambodia to reduce the need for imports.

Royal Academy of Cambodia economics researcher Ky Sereyvath said on April 30 that over the last few years, the Kingdom’s bicycle exports have increased significantly, which has contributed significantly to sustaining the Cambodian economy since 2019.

As for the supply of raw materials for bicycle production between Cambodia and Vietnam, he said that within the framework of cooperation as neighbours in the ASEAN region and within the framework of friendship between them, Vietnam is unlikely to reduce or discontinue supplying materials to Cambodia but diversification of sources for them is still advisable.

“If we see that challenges may arise, we should consider working with institutions to cooperate to manufacture domestic bicycles and set up a factory to supply bicycle parts or other necessary raw materials, or look for other markets such as China or Japan to prevent those problems,” he said.

According the commerce ministry, as of 2022 Cambodia has five factories and enterprises producing bicycles in Svay Rieng province.