Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bilateral trade with Thailand declines

Bilateral trade with Thailand declines

An exhibitor displays Thai-manufactured footwear at a trade fair in Phnom Penh earlier this year.
An exhibitor displays Thai-manufactured footwear at a trade fair in Phnom Penh earlier this year. Pha Lina

Bilateral trade with Thailand declines

Bilateral trade between Thailand and Cambodia decreased by 13 per cent in the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2015, according to statistics provided by the Royal Thai Embassy.

The value of Cambodian exports to Thailand reached $290 million by the end of March, an 11.02 per cent increase compared to the same time last year.

However, imports, valued at $1 billion, decreased by 17.8 per cent by the end of March.

Overall bilateral trade stood at $1.3 billion, a 13.2 per cent decrease, which allowed the trade imbalance between the two countries to drop by a considerable 20 per cent.

Soeng Sophary, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, said that while there has always been a trade imbalance between the two countries, a 20 per cent decline was a good sign that the gap would continue to narrow.

“Since most of Cambodia’s market depends on other countries markets,” she said, these numbers will “always fluctuate”.

But, she added that it could show that Cambodian products were gaining a competitive advantage, especially in light of the ASEAN Economic Community which is aimed at reducing trade barriers.

Mey Kalyan, senior adviser to the supreme national economic council, said it was too early to determine if this was a developing trend.

“It is hard to analyse since we are now within a more free market,” he said.

He added that an influx of Chinese imports as well as a rise of domestic products could explain the drop in bilateral trade between Cambodia and Thailand.

While he welcomed the news that Cambodian exports had increased, he added that the country should continue to strive to process its own products rather than relying on raw material exports to make up for the majority of exports.

“If Cambodia only relies on exporting raw materials, we lose out on potential profits from our resources,” he said.

Total trade between Cambodian and Thailand grew to $5.5 billion last year, up from $5.1 billion in 2014.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,