Bilateral trade between Cambodia and Vietnam reached $732.4 million in the first quarter of this year, up 15.20 per cent compared to the same period last year, said a report from the Ministry of Commerce.
Cambodia exported $62.5 million worth of products during the period, a 0.28 per cent decrease year-on-year, and imported $669.9 million, up nearly 17 per cent.
Ministry of Commerce spokesman Seang Thay told The Post on Thursday that the global coronavirus outbreak had affected Cambodia’s exports during this year’s first quarter.
In January, Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh said the two countries’ trade volume will reach $5.2 billion annually. “The figure exceeds the $5 billion target set by the prime ministers of the two countries earlier.”
Total trade volume for 2018 reached $4.704 billion – up 23.8 per cent from 2017, said Minh. The trade volume during the first 11 months of last year reached $4.8 billion – up 13.8 per cent compared with 2018.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng on Thursday said the rise in trade volume between the two countries reflects good cooperation between the government and the private sector in facilitating trade flow across the land border.
“I believe that trade volume will continue to grow in the future as we promote the establishment of special economic zones [SEZs] along the borders,” he said.
Heng highlighted that land-border restrictions implemented in response to Covid-19 has led to the government suspending the export of some agricultural products to Vietnam.
“Our exports decreased because we have not been able to export some raw agricultural material to Vietnam recently,” said Heng.
Minh said Vietnam currently has 214 registered projects in the Kingdom worth a total investment of $3.074 billion. Of these, 176 were ongoing with a total registered capital of $2.77 billion.
Vietnamese investments focused on the agricultural, banking, telecommunications, and manufacturing sectors, he said.
He said Cambodia had 21 investment projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of nearly $64 million – ranking number 54 among 132 partners.
He said Vietnam and Cambodia had signed several agreements to promote economic trade. They include the Double Taxation Accord and the Vietnam-Cambodia Transport Cooperation Strategy for 2018-2025.
“The deepening economic cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia will serve as an important foundation in bolstering better relations between the two countries in the future,” Minh said.
The Kingdom’s exports to Vietnam between 2015 and 2018 reached slightly more than $1.18 billion, while Vietnam’s exports to Cambodia amounted to $6.96 billion, reported the ministry.