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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodian trade level rises

Cambodian trade level rises

CAMBODIA’S total trade has risen around 18 percent in the first nine months of this year, compared to the same period of 2009, fuelled by growing garment exports.

Data released by the Ministry of Commerce yesterday showed the Kingdom’s total imports and export were worth US$5.975 billion from January until September this year, from $5.05 billion last year. Total exports surged about 21 percent to $2.536 billion from $2.096 billion on last year, while the total imports rose by 16 percent to $3.44 billion.

Both government officials and an independent economist yesterday cited the improvement of the local economy and the diversification of markets as growth factors.

“We have made the trade deals with many countries in the region in order to make more exports this year, which we had not done last time,” said Ok Boung, secretary of state for the Ministry of Commerce.

Kang Chandararot, an independent economist and president of Cambodia Institute for Development Study, agreed.

“The surge reflects the recovery of our economy as well as the world – which show reliable [growth],” he said.

He added that the main driver for export growth was garment and textile exports, after the government launched a policy to enhance competitiveness and seek new markets rather than relying solely on exports to the United States and European Union. He said rising imports “emphasised the growth of our economy”.

Quarter on quarter, trade grew around 14 percent, reaching $2.293 billion in the third quarter from $2.017 billion in the second. Of that, exports rose 40 percent, while imports decined by 1.4 percent.

Ok Boung put the decrease down to a surplus of raw materials imported during the first half of 2010.

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