Bilateral trade between Cambodia and the US in the first two months of 2022 rose 50.0 per cent year-on-year to $1.781 billion from $1.187 billion, data from the US Census Bureau (USCB) showed on April 11.
Cambodia’s exports to the US in January and February totalled $1.7175 billion, up 53 per cent from $1.120 billion while imports from the US fell six per cent to $63.3 million from $67 million a year ago.
This resulted in a trade surplus of $1.6541 billion for Cambodia, widening by 57.1 per cent from $1.053 billion from January-February 2021.
The increase in exports reflected good diplomatic relations between the two countries, observed Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia.
Despite global economic conditions and transport challenges, caused by high sea freight costs on the back of container shortages, exports to the US continued to exhibit positive signs, and double growth at that.
The US is the largest export market for Cambodia, where goods such as garments, footwear and travel goods, bicycles and electronic components are shipped.
In return, Cambodia imports machinery, electronics and pharmaceuticals from the US.
“The US has significantly helped to attract foreign investors to Cambodia [because] our products receive import tax exemptions through the Generalised System of Preferences [GSP] system,” Vanak told The Post on April 11.
Most of the goods exported are travel-related products, so as more countries reinstate cross-border travels, orders from Cambodia will increase accordingly.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng said the US market has played an important role in purchasing products from Cambodia, especially textile-related goods.
He echoed Vanak in saying that trade between the two countries has not declined despite the Covid-19 economic crisis.
“The GSP preference by the US, together with increasing production capacity in Cambodia will boost trade further between the two countries in 2022,” he said.
In 2021, trade between the two countries climbed 32.6 per cent to $9.159 billion from $6.906 billion in 2020, USCB figures indicate.
Last year, Cambodian exports to the US amounted to $8.7453 billion, up by 33.3 per cent from $6.5624 billion in 2020, and imports logged $413.7 million, ticking up by 20 per cent year-on-year from $343.9 million.
The Kingdom’s overall trade surplus with the US over the period widened by 33.98 per cent year-on-year from $6.2185 billion to $8.3316 billion.