The Kingdom’s trade volume reached $17.65 billion in the first four months of this year, up 15.47 per cent versus the $15.28 billion to the same period last year, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE).
The export volume in January-April reached $7.61 billion, an increase of 32.06 per cent from $5.76 billion in the same period last year. Import volume accounted for $10.04 billion, up 5.44 per cent year-on-year from $9.52 billion.
The Kingdom’s trade deficit in the period narrowed by 35.27 per cent to $2.44 billion, from 3.76 billion in January-April 2021, GDCE statistics indicate.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng said that the Kingdom has been “taking advantage of many opportunities” for international trade in the past couple of years, notably those involving countries faced with socio-political challenges stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic, by building domestic production capacity.
Heng explained that, relatively speaking, Cambodia not only has better investment laws, but also low rates of coronavirus infections and an affordable, skilled and diverse labour force.
“Apart from exporting more and more products every year, Cambodia is becoming a production destination for diverse goods that meet the needs of countries around the world,” he said.
Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told The Post on May 15 that improvements in the Kingdom’s political, economic and epidemiological situations are expected to buoy the domestic production and export of goods.
On the sidelines of the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC, the Cambodian delegation – led by Prime Minister Hun Sen and comprising government and private sector working group representatives – met with US companies and business leaders, he noted.
He insisted that seeds were sown at the high-level summit, which he believes will result in additional investment and export orders from foreign players. On top of this, Vanak noted, the US’ decision to extend its Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) is expected to be made soon, which would further boost Cambodia’s international trade volume.
“I think last week’s visit to US by government and private sector leaders will be very positive for Cambodia, attracting large-scale investors [given the Kingdom’s] recognition as a location with the potential for investment in all areas,” he said.
Vanak stressed that the momentum of Cambodia’s imports and exports would pick up quickly with each new free trade agreement (FTA), citing as examples the bilateral pact with China and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), both of which came into force on January 1.
In 2021, Cambodia’s trade volume stood at $48 billion, an increase of 28.2 per cent compared to the previous year. Exports accounted for $19.30 billion, an increase of 5.3 per cent, while imports were to the tune of $28.70 billion, an increase of 50.3 per cent, according to the GDCE.