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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trade with Vietnam sees slight rebound

Trade with Vietnam sees slight rebound

Latest official figures show slide in trade eased in September but was still down 28.6 percent

Falling exports
Cambodia’s exports to Vietnam in the first nine months were less than for the first seven months of last year:

2009

  • Up to end Sept - $130m
  • Up to end Aug - $123m
  • Up to end July - $110m

2008

  • Up to end July - $141m

Source: Vietnam Embassy in Phnom Penh

CAMBODIA’S bilateral trade with neighbouring Vietnam recovered slightly in September, official figures from the Vietnamese embassy showed Thursday, although total volume was still down an annualised 22.8 percent.

Trade between the two countries fell to US$98 million, the figures showed, from $127 million in September last year, which represented a 28.6 percent decline during the first three quarters compared with the same period in 2008.

The figure was a vast improvement on August when bilateral trade with Vietnam plummeted from $246 million in 2008 to $105 million, a drop of 57.3 percent year on year.

Le Bien Cuong, commercial counsellor at the Vietnamese embassy in Phnom Penh, blamed the slide on a persistent decline in consumer spending in the two countries, a knock-on effect of the economic crisis.

“We see that people are trying to reduce their daily expenses,” he said Thursday. “They are not earning as much as before.”

The closing of factories in Cambodia in particular and the slide in the domestic construction sector meant that the Kingdom had imported fewer raw materials from its neighbour this year, he added.

“The two sectors were severely impacted, which cut demand,” Le Bien Cuong said.

We see that people [in both countries] are trying to reduce their daily expenses.

Cambodian imports of Vietnamese goods were down 28.6 percent in the first three quarters compared with the same period last year, which represented an improvement on August: In the first eight months, imports from Vietnam were down 29.5 percent. Cambodia bought Vietnamese goods worth $88 million in September compared with $92 million the month before.
The Kingdom’s exports to Vietnam fell just over 28 percent in the first nine months to $130 million from $181 over the same period in 2008 – Cambodia exported more in the first seven months of last year than in the first nine months of this year.

Chan Nora, secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce recognised the steep, adding that the downturn had resulted in a large impact on bilateral trade as both countries focused on selling agricultural goods. Phnom Penh and Hanoi had this year attempted a number of measures to react to the slump in trade, he added.

“We have been working hard to facilitate crossborder trade, opening new checkpoints and holding trade fairs to let businessmen from both sides communicate together,” Chan Nora said Thursday, adding that both countries were still targeting $2 billion in total trade for 2010.

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