Bilateral trade between Cambodia and neighbouring Vietnam rose more than 10 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of this year, data from the Vietnam Embassy in Phnom Penh showed.
Officials said cross-border trade facilitation by both countries significantly contributed to the growth. But they said the growth rate slowed down a little, as more competition developed from other importing countries.
The data showed total two-way-trade was worth $1.013 billion in the first quarter of the year, a 10.26 per cent increase from $918.694 million in the same period last year.
“The two sides are focussing on facilitating border trade activities and the efforts will contribute to the increasing trend in trade level between the two countries,” Tran Tu, trade attache of the Vietnam Trade Office in Cambodia said.
“The increasing rate is acceptable given the difficulties in the two countries’ economy and the competition from other foreign partners,” he said.
The breakdown figure showed that in the first quarter of 2013, Cambodia’s total exports to Vietnam were valued at $221,153,942, a 9.9 per cent increase from $201,198,500 in the same period of 2012. The value of Vietnam’s exports to Cambodia reached $791,857,900, up 10.36 per cent from $717,495,323 in the same period last year.
Cambodia mainly exported aquatic products and seafood, corn, dried tobacco, rubber latex, paddy rice and cashew nuts to Vietnam. The main products from Vietnam were all kinds of steel and made-from-steel products, confectionery, cereal products, garments, rubber products, vegetables and fruits, paper, metal products, machinery products, transportation vehicles and spare parts.
Meng Saktheara, director general of the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Energy told the Post previously that Cambodia’s production sector is at a new stage of development in terms of technology and
“Now, our products can be compared to our neighbouring countries like Vietnam and Thailand because our quality is good enough,” he said.
Tran Tu, however, said “from my own point of view, Cambodia’s ability to produce, manufacture, and provide goods and services are now still not good enough, and the domestic economy has difficulties in meeting the customer’s demand.”
“As a result, Cambodia has to import goods, including materials for the industrial sector that causes the trade deficit in general, not only with Vietnam but also with other main trade partners like China and
“Furthermore, almost all of Cambodia’s exports to Vietnam are agricultural products, of which the price on the international market is not always very high, and Cambodia cannot earn a considerable large income,” he said.
“I am really optimistic about the rise in bilateral trade volume which will certainly pave the way for the target of $5 billion set by the two governments by 2015.”
The data showed that total bilateral trade between both countries was worth $3.316 billion last year compared to $2.836 billion in the same period of 2011 – an increase of 17 per cent.