Cambodian bicycle exports totalled $241.7 million during the first half of 2020, according to data from the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia.

At that rate, this year’s total bicycle exports could surpass the $412.5 million exported in 2019. In 2018, bicycle exports totalled $331 million.

More than half of the 1.1 million bicycles exported during the first half of 2020 were sent to the EU. Other destinations for the bicycles included the US, Britain and Japan, according to data obtained by The Post.

Cambodia imported 192,397 bicycles totalling $4.34 million during the same period, Customs data showed.

According to a National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) report, in the first half of 2020, Cambodia’s total equalled over $7.01 billion, an increase of nearly three per cent compared to the same period last year. Bicycle exports increased by 18 per cent.

Hong Vanak, a researcher at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told The Post on Monday that while Covid-19 affected Cambodia’s export-oriented manufacturing sectors, the bicycle export market did not decline.

However, the growth of bicycle exports would not be able to contribute much to sustaining national economic growth, he said.

He said the market could reach saturation and Cambodia would be well advised to diversify and increase agricultural exports to ensure the long-term health of the export sector.

Lim Heng, vice-president of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce, recently told The Post that in the age of social distancing and a renewed focus on health, cycling has seen a surge in demand.

He said favourable investment laws and an abundance of young workers will make bicycle assembly plants in Cambodia an attractive investment.

“The [upward] trend of bicycle exports is a very positive sign this year compared to last year,” he said.

According to Heng, most bicycle assembly plants in Cambodia are owned by Taiwanese investors and located within the Bavet Special Economic Zone in Bavet town, Svay Rieng province.