Bilateral trade between Cambodia and South Korea has topped more than $657 million for the first nine months of this year.
According to Ministry of Commerce data obtained by The Post on Monday, the figure is a little more than $100 million shy of the $769 million total for the same period last year.
Ministry spokesman Long Kem Vichet told The Post on Monday that South Korea was among the Kingdom’s best trading partners, with trade volume increasing year-on-year.
“While bilateral trade between the two countries is not as large as in the US or European markets, South Korea is one of Cambodia’s largest trading partners in Asia,” Kem Vichet said.
He said the ministry was examining the possibility of negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea.
“The possibility of an FTA was broached because the two sides recognise the importance of expanding trade with each other,” Kem Vichet said.
Footwear and garments were the main Cambodian goods to be exported to South Korea, he said.
Korean imports to the Kingdom mostly comprised vehicles, machinery and electronics, he added.
Ngin Chhay, the director-general of the General Department of Agriculture at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said that the export of fresh mangoes to South Korea will begin early next year.
Efforts from the ministry to secure approval from the Korean government had helped secure the deal, he added.
“Under the plan, Cambodia will begin exporting mangoes in January, but the quantity has not been set as we are evaluating demand first,” Chhay said.
He said that while it was an exciting development, high production and logistics costs could be a barrier for Cambodian exports.
According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Koy Kuong, Cambodia attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) worth more than $4.47 billion from 1996 to January this year.