Bilateral trade between Cambodia and the US in the first half of 2022 amounted to $4.81656 billion, up by 51.752 per cent from the $3.17397 billion logged in the same period last year, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE).

Cambodian exports to the US accounted for $4.64834 billion, up by 53.96 per cent year-on-year from $3.11925 billion, while imports clocked in at $168.22 million, up by 8.7 per cent from $154.72 million. This means the Kingdom’s trade surplus with the US in the first half was $4.4801 billion, expanding by 51.12 per cent from $2.9645 billion on a yearly basis.

Speaking to The Post, Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng opined that the US market boasts the greatest potential for Cambodian exports, and noted that many foreign-owned businesses have set up in the Kingdom for export to the world’s largest economy.

He said Cambodian exports to the US chiefly comprise of garments, footwear and travel goods, bicycles, and electrical and electronic components, while imports are mostly vehicles, electrical equipment and machinery, high-tech products and pharmaceuticals.

Heng expects Cambodian exports to the US to “improve further” following a CCC trip to the Western country to promote investment opportunities in Cambodia and call attention to the catalogue of exportable merchandise offered by the Kingdom.

Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said that the US remains the biggest buyer of Cambodian goods, and noted that despite the Covid-19 crisis, US orders from the Kingdom did not show any negative signs.

The surge in exports was most likely fuelled by heightened demand for Cambodian products on the US market, increased fulfilment of quality standards and other criteria expected by customers, timely delivery and acceptable prices, he said.

He remarked that improvements in diplomatic relations and ties between the private sectors of the two countries have been “indispensable”.

He predicted that the Kingdom’s exports to the US would remain in growth territory, on the back of an expected uptick in textile demand as the world economy reopens.

The GDCE confirmed that the US is the biggest buyer of Cambodian merchandise, accounting for about 40.8 per cent of the Kingdom’s total exports, and is the ranked the 12th largest exporter of goods to Cambodia representing just 1.1 per cent of the total.

In 2021, trade between the two countries totalled $7.82649 billion, up by 40.4 per cent from $5.57526 million in 2020, according to the department.