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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - HK trade down 22.2pc

HK trade down 22.2pc

Exports to territory rose 30pc in 2009, but total trade suffered


Trade with HK drops

  • 2006 - $562 million
  • 2007 - $631 million
  • 2008 - $617 million
  • 2009 - $480 million

Source: HKTDC

BILATERAL trade between Cambodia and Hong Kong plummeted an annualised 22.2 percent in 2009, marking the second year of bilateral trade decline, according to official figures.

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) recorded that trade fell to just US$480 million in 2009, from $617 million in 2008 and $631 million in 2007.

In 2009, total imports from the Chinese special administrative region fell 23.1 percent, from $608 million to $467 million – mostly due to a fall in imports of knitted and cotton fabrics, down 34.3 percent and 26.3 percent to $147 million and $63 million respectively, and telecommunications equipment, down 13.6 percent to $50 million.

The huge drops were far more marked than Hong Kong’s overall slump in exports, which fell an annualised 12.6 percent, according to Bloomberg.

Despite the world economic crisis, Cambodia’s exports to Hong Kong increased significantly last year, rising from $10 million to $13 million – a surge of 30 percent.

Sok Sopheak, director general of the International Trade Department, said that Hong Kong has become an excellent market for Cambodian goods, as the city acts as a hub for the re-exportation of garments to other nations. In 2009, Cambodian exports of textiles to the special administrative region rose 20 percent to $3 million.

The hub also is increasingly seeking imports of milled rice and seafood from the Kingdom. Exports of aquatic molluscs and crustaceans accounted for $1 million, or 9.1 percent of all outgoing goods.

“Hong Kong is a modern market that can help Cambodia increase its exports. It is also a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), so we can export a variety of goods without quota and tax free,” said Sok Spoheak.

The director of HKTDC, Tin Phan, was unavailable for comment Friday.

In December, Hong Kong’s total exports climbed for the second consecutive month as global demand began to recover, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

Overseas shipments gained 9.2 percent from a year earlier to HK$224.8 billion (US$28.9 billion), the government announced on its Web site, after climbing 1.3 percent in November.

In a report last week, the World Bank predicted that world trade will expand 4.3 percent in 2010 as part of a “weak” economic recovery. It contracted 14.4 percent in 2009.

In Asia, Taiwan’s exports rose by the most in 14 years in December and China’s overseas shipments jumped 17.7 percent, figures boosted by low year-earlier comparisons.

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