Cambodia and Vietnam have agreed to further promote and encourage cooperation with each other, with bilateral trade between the two countries now worth more than $5 billion.
During a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday, Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh said bilateral relations and cooperation between Cambodia and Vietnam are improving in all fields, especially in the trade and defence sectors.
“Trade volume between Cambodia and Vietnam could reach more than $5 billion by next year,” he said.
Hun Sen said that despite the import and export of goods between Cambodia and Vietnam not officially reaching $5 billion as of now, in reality, the figure had already exceeded the figure.
“The trade volume between the two countries may already be greater than $5 billion because the volume of trade in the list is different. We also have the non-registered trade volume on the list, such as rice exports to Vietnam, which is not recorded in the list,” he said.
Hun Sen also encouraged Cambodia and Vietnam to intensify trade cooperation with each other along the border.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng told The Post that the data on bilateral trade between the two countries was indeed greater than the figure recorded by the authorities because of some unrecorded trade activities conducted along the border.
“If we include the export of rice and farm produce along the border, it certainly exceeds $5 billion. There are no clear figures as the authorities cannot keep track of all trade activities,” he said.
Heng said in terms of the trade volume with Vietnam, the CCC is always trying to encourage investors from both countries to increase their trade.
He said he recently met with about 60 Vietnamese companies seeking investment opportunities in Cambodia.
Most exports to Vietnam are agricultural products and raw materials, while Vietnamese goods imported to Cambodia involve almost all sectors, especially construction materials, consumer goods, vegetables and fruits, said Heng.
Data from Vietnam’s Embassy in Phnom Penh said last year, Vietnam had 206 investment projects to Cambodia, with a total registered investment of $3.02 billion.
Vietnam’s investment has focused on the most important sectors of Cambodia, with the largest concentration in agriculture and forestry, accounting for nearly 70 per cent of total registered capital while that in finance, banking and insurance was 9.4 per cent.
The rest of the projects are in aviation, minerals, manufacturing and processing industries, warehouse, transportation, health care, construction, tourism – hotels, real estate and other services.
Cambodia’s investment in Vietnam encompasses 21 projects with a total capital investment of nearly $64 million. It ranks 54 out of 132 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.
According to the first quarterly report from the National Bank of Cambodia, Vietnam is the third-largest exporter of goods to Cambodia, accounting for 13.2 per cent. Topping the list is China with 46 per cent, followed by Thailand (15.6 per cent).
Last year, the official trade volume between Cambodia and Vietnam was over $4.7 billion – an increase of 23.8 per cent compared to 2017.