Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bicycle exports ride out Covid storms

Bicycle exports ride out Covid storms

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodia exported $527.08 million worth of bicycles last year, marking a 27.78 per cent year-on-year surge, emerging as ASEAN’s largest exporter and world number-five, the ministry reported.​ POST STAFF

Bicycle exports ride out Covid storms

Cambodian-assembled bicycles are shifting into higher gears and pedalling their way across the world in higher numbers, smoothly manoeuvring through various Covid-linked headwinds, amid an apparent surge in confidence among investors and consumers.

While the protracted coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly had some impact on production chains, the Kingdom managed to roll 1.86 million bicycles into the international market over the first eight months of this year, worth $416.85 million, as reported by the Ministry of Commerce.

This represents a jump of $82.17 million or 24.55 per cent from the $334.67 million recorded from January to August 2020, the ministry noted.

Ministry spokesman Seang Thay told The Post on September 7 that the Cambodian bicycle export market has remained in positive territory in recent years, ascribing the current upswing to a combination of factors.

He listed three predominant examples – constant improvements in market access; buyer confidence in Cambodian ability to deliver; and the sustainability of production chains, underpinned by the effective management of Covid-19.

Thay acknowledged that Covid had induced a brief lull in international bicycle orders,

but presented the rise in turnover during the January-August period as a manifestation “of the efforts of the Ministry of Commerce and relevant ministries and institutions to encourage buyers to resume placing orders for Cambodia bicycles, with confidence”.

He shared that there are five major bicycle assembly factories in the Kingdom – all in the southeastern province of Svay Rieng – A and J (Cambodia) Co Ltd, Speedtech Industrial Co Ltd, Smart Tech (Cambodia) Co Ltd, XDS Bicycle (Cambodia) Co Ltd and Evergrand Bicycle (Cambodia) Co Ltd.

There are 50 countries that import bicycles from Cambodia, he said, highlighting the US, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, the UK, Denmark, Australia, Austria, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic as notable buyers.

Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, suggested that the uptick in exports could also be rationalised as a result of a diverse skilled labour force that commands lower wages; favourable and attractive investment laws and regulations; and a broad and varied international customer base that places high numbers of orders.

“This growth illustrates the health of the Cambodian bicycle export industry and is also a point of interest for us, as a non-textile industry that is recognised as stronger and more resilient than the garment sector,” he said. The garment sector is the backbone of the Kingdom’s export-driven economy.

Vanak maintained that the Cambodian bicycle industry would remain on an expansionary path for the foreseeable future, noting that it prominently features in the Kingdom’s export diversification strategy, which leans strongly towards non-garments.

And ultimately, he said, the strategy is a component of broader efforts to inject international money into the Cambodian economy.

Last year, the Kingdom exported $527.08 million worth of bicycles, marking a 27.78 per cent year-on-year surge, emerging as ASEAN’s largest exporter and world number-five, the ministry reported.

While no figures were available for the number of bicycles exported in 2020, online trade publication Bike Europe reported that the Kingdom shipped out more than 1.42 million bicycles in 2017, up by nine per cent from 1.26 million in the previous year.

According to Bike Europe, Cambodia has become the leading supplier of bicycles to the EU since 2017, overtaking Taiwan, which held the position for more than two decades.


  • Second Hungary business forum set for H2

    Cambodia has asked Hungary to provide GSP- (Generalised System of Preferences) Plus facilities for when the Kingdom sheds its least-developed country (LDC) label, as the two countries prepare to hold a second business forum in the second half (H2) of this year to expand trade

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • Nearly 50 states join Kun Khmer Federation, all set for training

    In a little over a week, the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) has accepted membership requests from 20 new nations, in addition to the exiting 29. The sudden influx of international recognition stems from the Kingdom’s successful introduction of Kun Khmer to the 32nd Souheast Asian (

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports

  • CPP sets out five primary strategic goals for 2023-28

    The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) on January 29 concluded its two-day extraordinary congress, setting the party’s priority goals for 2023-2028. The ruling party’s congress was attended by more than 3,000 members from across the Kingdom, including the members of the permanent and central committees,