Cambodia’s trade volume this year was valued at $18.1 billion, a 13.8 per cent increase from $15.9 billion in 2013, according to figures from the Ministry of Commerce.
The Kingdom’s exports increased by $800 million while its imports increased by $1.4 billion, according to a summary report released on the ministry’s official Facebook page on Tuesday.
Ministry spokesman Ken Ratha said yesterday that the figures were in line with Cambodia’s economic growth rate and increasing trade links in the region.
“We also see an increase in the volume of bilateral trade between Cambodia and some countries such as China, which signed an agreement to import 100,000 tonnes of rice from Cambodia [in August].”
The increasing import value, he said, was due to growth in the construction, agriculture, and manufacturing sectors.
“Cambodia imports machinery, electronic tools, construction-related materials and other raw materials for the manufacturing industry as there is no local production of raw materials in Cambodia yet,” Ratha explained.
The country’s export volume increased from $6.9 billion in 2013 to $7.7 billion this year, up 11.6 per cent, while the total import volume was up from $9 billion last year to $10.4 billion, up 15.5 per cent.
Despite political instability and hundreds of labour strikes, Cambodia’s economy still stands to reap the benefits of increased trade growth, said independent economist Srey Chanthy.
“While [some of] the growth reflects high demand for Cambodian products in the international market, the growth is also partly due to the economic wellbeing of other countries like the US and the EU,” he said.
Chanthy said he was optimistic the Cambodian economy would keep growing at 7 or even 8 per cent in 2015 as long as the manufacturing and agricultural sectors progress at the current rate.