Cambodian exports to the US increased just 2.5 per cent last year to $2.84 billion, up from $2.77 billion in 2013, according to data released by the US Census Bureau.
Nguon Meng Tech, director general of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce, said the slow growth rate of Cambodian exports to the US was not a great surprise as the rate had remained steady for the last few years. But a drop in garment exports that he attributed to unrest in the industry last year was a worry, he said.
“This is at least lucky that we still get positive exports due to more export products available, especially rice,” he said.
Separate data released by the Garment Manufacturing Association in Cambodia (GMAC) showed garments – the Kingdoms major export to the US – dropped 13 per cent in the first 11 months of 2014 to $1.59 billion, compared with $1.85 billion in the same period in 2013.
GMAC officials declined to comment yesterday.
Meanwhile, in a move to boost ties with the US, the minister of commerce, Sun Chanthol, met with Kurt Tong, a US State Department official for economic and business affairs, on February 12, to discuss the progress of the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) negotiations between Cambodia and the US.
“We not only want exports to the US, but also want to see big investment from the US in Cambodia,” said Ken Ratha, spokesman of the Commerce Ministry.
“The BIT will attract investors from the US, which will create better paying job for Cambodians.”