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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia aims to boost Russian trade

Cambodia aims to boost Russian trade

A COMMERCE Ministry trade official said the Cambodian government had been meeting with Russian officials to work out ways to boost bilateral trade and investment on Wednesday.

Cambodia's bilateral trade with Russia still does not match the level of past trade with the Soviet Union when economic cooperation was greater.

In 2007, Cambodia imported US$6 million worth of goods from Russia, which increased to $9 million in 2008, with trade tipped to rise further in 2009.

Cambodian Commerce Ministry statistics say Cambodia ran a $21.34 million trade surplus with Russia in 2009.

"There have been some major multi million-dollar Russian investments in Sihanoukville," said Thon Virak.

He said Cambodian exports mostly garments to Russia and imports machinery.

The main barrier to Russian trade is the long distances involved, say officials.

"Russian products are good, but the challenge is that shipping them is difficult," said Thon Virak.

The Russian embassy could not be reached for comment.

In June last year, the Russian-owned firm Koh Pous Cambodia Investment Group, a subsidiary of Vironia Enterprises, invested $300 million in a tourism project in Sihanoukville.

The Cambodian garment industry is also considering sending a trade delegation to Russia to promote exports and diversify away from the US market.

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