Bilateral trade between Cambodia and ASEAN member state Malaysia rose by 34 per cent year on year in 2011 to US$319.5 million compared to the year before, according to data from the Embassy of Malaysia in Phnom Penh released yesterday.
Experts noted the nearly 100 per cent increase in Cambodian exports to Malaysia signified a shift from dependence on Western markets.
The Kingdom shipped $65 million in crude rubber, cereal and garments, among other items, to Malaysia in 2011.
The exports represented a 95 per cent increase on the year before, statistics showed.
Recent boosts in inter-government relations accounted for an increase in confidence among businessmen and traders, director general of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce Ngoun Meng Tech said.
“I noticed that the two governments have a very good relationship. That’s a key point for increasing trade exchanges and investment from Malaysia to Cambodia in the recent years,” he said. “It also proves that we can have more markets in the region,” he added.
Malaysia’s main exports to Cambodia last year were textiles and clothing, metal products, processed food, chemical and beverages, data showed.
After Vietnam, Malaysia is the second biggest investor in Cambodia among ASEAN countries.
Malaysia invested $235 million in Cambodia last year, a jump of 41 per cent.
Most of the investments were in garment manufacturing, real estate and rice-milling sectors.
Economists yesterday noted the increase in trade of value-added goods as a positive sign that Cambodia was beginning to look into markets in its own backyard.
“That’s a good sign for the diversification of our exports. We have mainly exported unprocessed agricultural products into many countries in the region,” Chan Sophal, president of the Cambodian Economic Association, said yesterday.
To contact the reporter on this story: May Kunmakara at email@example.com