Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - RCEP, CCFTA bring boons to China trade

RCEP, CCFTA bring boons to China trade

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
China is the third largest export market for Cambodia, accounting for eight per cent of the Kingdom’s total export in 2021. Heng Chivoan

RCEP, CCFTA bring boons to China trade

Bilateral trade between Cambodia and China increased by more than 30 per cent year-on-year from January to April, reflecting the positive effects of the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on commerce, both of which entered into force in January.

According to a report from the Ministry of Commerce, two-way trade between the two countries reached nearly $4 billion in the four month period, representing a 31 per cent year-on-year increase. Cambodia’s exports totalled nearly $424 million – with a slight 0.1 per cent fall – while total imports reached $3.5 billion, an increase of 35 per cent.

Penn Sovicheat, spokesperson for the commerce ministry, acknowledged that the recent implementation of the CCFTA has been positively impacting trade and investment between the two nations.

The Cambodia-China bilateral relationship “has resulted in the more open Chinese market through this Free Trade Agreement and other trade preferences we have received from China, all of which have been pushing increases in bilateral trade,” Sovicheat said.

“They also attract more investments from third countries in Cambodia for export to China.”

The spokesperson said that, under the RCEP, China has also become a key development partner of Cambodia, along with South Korea and Japan, “so Cambodia gets very favourable trading conditions within industries such as agriculture and garment [for] export to China … who exports to us raw materials, construction material and other electronic products.

“This means that businesspeople from both sides understand the other country’s needs and the market, and can complement each other.”

Kaing Monika, deputy secretary-general of Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), told The Post that China is currently a market with high potential. Citing figures from GlobalData, he said China would soon become the largest apparel market in the world, surpassing the US by 2023.

China became ASEAN’s largest trading partner in 2020. Monika noted that, while trade volume between the country and the bloc reached $878 billion in 2021, Cambodia is still “far from becoming China’s largest trading partner in textiles and apparel”, and vice versa, he said, adding that China only imported $2.5 billion of garments from ASEAN countries in 2020.

“In the near future, there is huge possibility for Cambodia’s manufacturers to supply to both western and Chinese brands that sell in China, while garment production in China may decrease due to higher wages and worker shortages [within] this low-value-added industry,” he said.

According to the commerce ministry, within the terms of the CCFTA, 98 per cent of Cambodia’s exports to China and 90 per cent of China’s exports to Cambodia are tariff-free. China is the third largest export market for Cambodia, accounting for eight per cent of the Kingdom’s total export in 2021.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,