Driven by a slowly recovering American economy, Cambodian exports to the US increased 11 per cent in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the same period last year, according to the latest US government data.
Cambodian exports from January to March totalled $771 million, up from $694 million a year earlier, according to the US government’s census trade data, released on May 6.
The figures caused Cambodia to climb one spot on the US’s list of biggest importing countries to 58th position.
Hiroshi Suzuki, chief economist at the Business Research Institute for Cambodia (BRIC), said the figures were unsurprising as the US economy continues its slow recovery following the 2008 global financial crisis.
“US is, and remains, the biggest export destination. Because of the better situation in US economy, it is expected that exports, especially garments, from Cambodia to US will increase in this year,” Suzuki said.
The US – along with Europe – is among the largest buyers of Cambodian garment products. In the last three months of 2013, manufacturers exported almost $2 billion worth of garment products to the US, according to the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce.
Suzuki cautioned, however, that the garment sector should further diversify its export destinations, citing the risk of external shocks to Cambodia’s economy arising from an overdependence on a single country.