Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bilateral trade with Thailand down 19% in first nine months

Bilateral trade with Thailand down 19% in first nine months

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Trade between Cambodia and Thailand was worth $5.6 billion in the first nine months. AFP

Bilateral trade with Thailand down 19% in first nine months

Bilateral trade between Cambodia and Thailand was worth $5.569 billion in the first nine months of this year, down 19 per cent compared to the same period last year, data from Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce show.

Cambodian exports to Thailand were to the tune of $958 million, sliding 48 per cent, while imports were worth $4.611 billion, down nine per cent.

Thai ambassador to Cambodia Panyarak Poolthup on Wednesday claimed that trade between the countries had been strained as a result of Covid-19-related border restrictions, as reported by state-run news agency Agence Kampuchea Presse (AKP).

But he maintained that Cambodia remains very attractive for Thai investors and businesses. “Despite the global effects of Covid-19, Thai companies in Cambodia have continued their normal production chains,” Panyarak was quoted as saying.

The Cambodian embassy in Bangkok on October 16 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Thai-based iLAWASIA Co Ltd to launch a new service that aims to facilitate and provide legal advice to Cambodian-Thai businesspeople and investors.

The MoU seeks to promote the implementation of economic diplomacy with a focus on trade, tourism and culture, the embassy said in a press release on the occasion of the Trade, Business and Migrants Legal Advisory Service’s official launch.

Cambodian ambassador to Thailand Ouk Sorphorn said the MoU will further expand access for the Cambodian and Thai private sectors to legal advice and assistance in trade disputes and contention involving Cambodians working in Thailand, according to the release.

“The MoU is another turning point in the strengthening of bilateral trade and labour cooperation between Cambodia and Thailand, as well as the trust building between the two countries’ business communities in consonance with the policy of the Royal Government of Cambodia.

“We encourage Cambodian-Thai businessmen, traders and investors who wish to partner in business and trade to consult with officers at the trade attache office at the Embassy of Cambodia in Bangkok and avoid disputes in the future, which could adversely affect bilateral trade relations between Cambodia and Thailand,” Sorphorn was quoted as saying.

Trade volume between the two countries was to the tune of more than $9.41 billion last year, increasing 12 per cent from $8.38 billion in 2018, the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh reported.

Cambodia’s exports to Thailand were worth $2.2 billion, up 195 per cent compared to $768 million in 2018. Thailand’s shipments to Cambodia were $7.14 billion, down six per cent from $7.61 billion in 2018, the embassy said.

The majority of Cambodia’s exports to Thailand comprise gemstones, jewellery, agricultural products and aluminium. Cambodia’s imports from Thailand mainly consist of fuel, motorcycles, cars, gemstones and jewellery.

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