Decline less severe than those with other trade partners as Kingdom manages to raise exports despite global downturn
BILATERAL trade between Cambodia and South Korea, fell 11.63 percent over the first 10 months of this year, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), a division of the country’s embassy in Phnom Penh.
Although not as severe as the decline experienced with bigger trading partners Thailand and Vietnam over the same period, trade with South Korea – the Kingdom’s second-largest foreign investor – fell to US$232.8 million up to the end of October from $263.4 million over the same period in 2008.
Lee Hyoung Seok, KOTRA’s deputy director in Cambodia, was unavailable for comment Wednesday.
Cambodian exports, a tiny fraction of the trade between the two countries, increased 21.3 percent in the first 10 months to $14.48 million from $11.94 million last year as the Kingdom shipped 11.8 percent more garments and accessories to South Korea. Exports of rubber soared 42.2 percent, and metal products fell 27.4 percent, the data showed.
South Korea’s exports were down 13.2 percent over the same period to $218.3 million from $251.49 million.
“Korean products are very good in quality. However, the price is higher compared to other imported products from the likes of Vietnam or Thailand because of the high transportation costs involved,” said Mao Thora, secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce.
Cambodia imported 4.2 percent fewer garments from South Korea up to the end of October compared with last year, and 44.4 percent fewer automobiles. Imports of fibre climbed 24 percent over the same period.
In 2008, total bilateral trade between the two countries hit $308.76 million from $290.12 million the previous year, an increase of 6.42 percent.