Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - India trade tumbles 26% in 2020

India trade tumbles 26% in 2020

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian exports to India were valued at $61.36 million last year, down 5.12 per cent year-on-year. Heng Chivoan

India trade tumbles 26% in 2020

The trade value between Cambodia and India saw a dramatic 25.81 per cent reduction last year to $190.13 million from 2019’s $256.26 million as the Kingdom embarked on a feasibility study for a free trade agreement (FTA).

Cambodian exports to India were valued at $61.36 million last year, down 5.12 per cent year-on-year from $64.67 million, while imports fell by 32.97 per cent to $128.77 million from $191.59 million in 2019, Ministry of Commerce data show.

Ministry spokesman Pen Sovicheat told The Post on February 25 that trade between the two countries had been on a steady upward trajectory prior to the Covid-19 crisis.

With its massive population and the burgeoning purchasing power of its highly-active consumers, he said India offers a vast market of immense potential with a hefty appetite for merchandise that Cambodia could produce.

He said light-industry and consumer goods, agricultural products and a range of technological services represented the bulk of trade between the two countries.

He added that the Kingdom is working closely with Jakarta-based Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) on a feasibility study of the merits of a bilateral FTA with India.

“With any luck, the closer ties [as a result of the FTA] will provide a boon for Cambodia in the sphere of trade, goods, services and investment, as well as technological exchange,” he said.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng told The Post last month that trade between the two nations remains limited, and that with the South Asian country’s sheer size, massive population and thriving technology sector, an FTA would benefit Cambodia a great deal.

“Once there is a bilateral trade agreement, it will not only increase the flow of trade between the two countries, but will also be an opportunity for Cambodia to attract internationals to come and invest in Cambodia to produce goods that are in high-demand in India,” he said.

During a January 18 meeting with newly-minted Indian ambassador to Cambodia Devyani Uttam Khobragade, Prime Minister Hun Sen formally asked the Indian side to examine the possibility of a bilateral FTA with the Kingdom.

The prime minister said the prospect of organising an expeditious free-trade cooperation deal between the two countries would be a major key to unlock bilateral investment and trade opportunities and foster stronger relations.

According to Sovicheat, Cambodia expects to strike an FTA with South Korea this year after having reached a similar deal with China last year.

The Kingdom is also exploring the idea of FTAs with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Mongolia, Canada, the UK and US.

Cambodian trade with India was worth more than $256 million in 2019, up from $205 million in 2018, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The Kingdom’s total trade hit $35.80585 billion last year, inching up 2.52 per cent from 2019’s $34.92055 billion, commerce ministry statistics show.

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Tottenham Hotspur to wear ISF Cambodia logo on jerseys in match against Sheffield United

    Last year, the Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) – an NGO providing education to underprivileged children in Cambodia – made global headlines with its “socially distanced” football initiative. This year, a world-class football club – Tottenham Hotspur FC – will wear special edition jerseys to show their support for ISF