Cambodia exported $4.2983 billion worth of goods to the US in the first seven months of 2021, a 26.8 per cent year-on-year surge from $3.3897 billion, despite Covid-related strain on production lines.
From January-July, Cambodia-US trade was to the tune of $4.534 billion, a 27.36 per cent jump from $3.5598 billion in the year-ago period, with imports from the US clocking in at $235.7 million, rising by 38.56 per cent on a yearly basis from $170.1 million, according to the US Census Bureau.
These figures indicate that Cambodia’s trade surplus with the US widened by 26.2 per cent over the period, from $3.220 billion to $4.063 billion.
Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, pointed out that trade has increased in both directions, highlighting what he described as an “overwhelming” trade balance in the Kingdom’s favour.
He told The Post on September 9 that the increase in Cambodian exports to the US market is a result of a number of important factors.
He cited as examples rising consumer demand in the US, tariff breaks provided through the US’ Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), improvements in bilateral trade relations, and production-related investments diverted from other countries – likely a reference to coup-hit Myanmar.
The US is a top buyer of Cambodian bicycles and finished textile products, he said.
He noted that Cambodia’s large amount of overall exports has brought significant amounts of foreign currency to the Kingdom for national development.
Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia secretary-general Ken Loo acknowledged that the US is the main buyer of Cambodian garments, travel goods and finished textile products.
He previously told The Post: “Last year the US market was our biggest export market – which [accounted for] approximately 40 per cent of our exports.”
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng said an improvement in the Covid-19 situation had supported a steady uptick in US orders for Cambodian goods, especially clothing, travel products, footwear and bicycles.
He called on the Kingdom to further diversify product offerings to better meet US demand. “If we can maintain steady export growth, it’d contribute a lot to revenue collection for national development,” he said.
Cambodia predominantly exports clothing, footwear, bags, bicycles, furniture and agricultural products to the US, and imports automobiles, machinery and electronics.
Bilateral trade between the Kingdom and the US amounted to $6.9213 billion in 2020, up 17.89 per cent from 2019, data from the US Census Bureau show.
The export value of Cambodian goods was $6.5777 billion, up 22.79 per cent from the $5.3568 billion posted in 2019, while goods imported from the US were worth $343.6 million, down 33.15 per cent from $514 million.