The value of Cambodia’s overall trade volume for 2013 is expected to reach $16 billion, according to the former Minister of Economy and Finance, Keat Chhon. The figure comes to a 14.4 per cent rise from last year.
Speaking at an import-export fair on Koh Pich yesterday, Chhon, now the permanent deputy prime minister, said the growth is thanks to free market policies and the government’s effort “to promote trading in all target sectors”, a reference to the goal of exporting 1 million tonnes of rice exports by 2015.
“After implementing this policy, rice exports have increased gradually. Exports in the first 11 months of 2013 reached 332,009 tonnes, an increase of almost double from 2012,” he said.
Kong Putheara, director of the statistics department at the Ministry of Commerce, said trade was largely unaffected by election-related protests from the opposition party that started earlier this year, or a series of sometimes violent garment factory demonstrations over wages.
“We are still exporting our goods,” he said.
Economic recovery in two of the country’s biggest importers, the US and EU, was the main driver.
“Because of the better economic situation in US, EU and Japan, Cambodian exports seem to enjoy continuous growth for the time being,” Hiroshi Suzuki, chief economist of the Business Research Institute for Cambodia, said in an August interview.