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Cambodia-Vietnam trade up 30 percent in 2017

Prime Minister Hun Sen and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc shake hands during a meeting in Siem Reap in 2016. Photo supplied
Prime Minister Hun Sen and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc shake hands during a meeting in Siem Reap in 2016. Photo supplied

Cambodia-Vietnam trade up 30 percent in 2017

Bilateral trade between Cambodia and Vietnam last year increased nearly 30 percent to about $3.8 billion according to Vietnamese state-run media, while Cambodia has yet to report trade statistics for most of 2017.

Exports to Cambodia rose by about 26 percent while imports from Cambodia grew by more than 40 percent, according to the reports. That would be an increase over the recent past – trade volume had decreased for the past two years, down from $3.3 billion in 2014 to $3 billion in 2015 and $2.8 billion in 2016, according to the same Vietnamese media reports.

But there are conflicting datasets regarding the total amount of trade between Cambodia and Vietnam. Other Vietnamese state-run media had reported the 2016 trade figure to be closer to $3 billion. Data from the United Nation’s International Trade Statistics Database shows that Cambodia reported only $1.6 billion in total trade with Vietnam in 2016, while Vietnam reported $2.9 billion over the same period.

Cambodian trade data for most of 2017 was not yet available according Seang Thay, a spokesperson at Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce. Thay said on Monday that trade data could only be released by the Customs and Excise Department of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and added that the Commerce Ministry had thus far only received data for the first three months of last year.

The customs department’s director-general, Kun Nhem, could not be reached for comment.

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