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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia-Vietnam trade up 127pc in Q1

Cambodia-Vietnam trade up 127pc in Q1

Vietnamese embassy says countries are likely to achieve target of $2 billion in bilateral trade

BILATERAL trade between Cambodia and Vietnam rose by 127 percent in the first quarter of this year, making likely that the countries will meet their target $2 billion worth of trade in 2010, a Vietnamese official said Sunday.

Two-way trade between the two nations hit US$432.5 million in the 2010 first quarter, up 127 percent from $190.5 million for the same quarter last year, a commercial official at the Embassy of Vietnam in Phnom Pehn, Le Bien Cuong, said.

Of the total, Vietnam exported around $345 million worth of goods to Cambodia, and Cambodia sent an estimated $87.5 million worth of products to neighbouring Vietnam.

“Trade is improving now because the economic situation has recovered.

“It is very different to the first quarter last year when the economy was so affected by the crisis, which caused trading to severely drop off,” said Le Bien Cuong.

Vietnam’s exports to Cambodia included a large range of products, including vegetables, fruits, instant noodles, plastics, cigarettes, consumer products, home appliances, construction materials, agricultural machines, fertilisers, pesticides, and processed farm produce, he said.

Meanwhile, Cambodia’s exports to Vietnam were mainly garment materials and agricultural produce such as wood, rubber, cashew nuts, rice and types of corn.

Trade between the two countries fell 19 percent over the 2009 calendar year, dropping to $1.33 billion after reaching $1.64 billion in 2008.

However the first-quarter figure of $432.5 million has boosted confidence that a $2 billion target for the whole of 2010 could become a reality.

“For this year we expect that trade would reach a target of $2 billion, based on the first three-month figures,” Le Bien Cuong said.

Ministry of Commerce Secretary of State Chan Nora, told the Post on Sunday that Cambodia and Vietnam have done a lot of work to stimulate trading activity between the two neighbours, offsetting a decrease in trade with Thailand.

“Our trading with Vietnam is getting better and better, while our trade with Thailand is not going so well due to the border dispute and Thai political unrest,” he said.

Chan Nora also said he believes trade with Vietnam this year will hit the $2 billion mark, as there is no barrier to the two countries’ trade cooperation and the Kingdom is thought to be well on the road to economic recovery.

On Friday, a waterway-transportation agreement that covers customs, transportation and commercial dealings between Cambodia and Vietnam was passed into law.

Officials hope the move will serve to further improve trading relations.

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