Trade volume between Cambodia and India has grown 6.6 per cent year-on-year to $306.9 million from $287.8 million amid contracted bilateral trade with other nations in the first eight months of 2023.
According to the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia, exports to India rose 38.7 per cent to $161.4 million while imports from India fell 15.1 per cent to $145.6 million in the corresponding period last year.
Based on the statistics, the Kingdom experienced a trade surplus, which expanded to $15.8 million. India is Cambodia’s 19th largest trading partner.
For the month of August, bilateral between the two countries totalled $38.4 million, rising by 15.1 per cent year-on-year, with Cambodia exporting $20.4 million worth of goods, up 16.1 per cent while imports rose 14.1 per cent to $15.8 million.
Speaking to The Post, Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng said both countries have a long relationship strengthened by culture and tradition, as well as diplomatic and trade relations which have grown steadily.
He said the increase in Cambodia’s exports was largely underpinned by agricultural products, noting that both countries’ production capacity is increasing at the moment. When the global crisis ends, the trade momentum between them would “definitely increase”. “India is the most populous nation in the world, so Cambodia must do more to boost exports,” Lim Heng said.
According to worldometers.info, India has a population of 1.428 billion people, slightly ahead of China, home to 1.425 billion people.
Lim Heng said Cambodia’s exports to India include textile and agriculture, while imports from India include technology, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals. In addition to trade, two-way tourism has been high every year.
Direct flights between Cambodia and India are expected to start early 2024, which would further boost the flow of tourists, trade and investment, amid the final stages of a bilateral free trade agreement.
Koy Kuong, Cambodian Ambassador to India, who was quoted in an article by Indian news portal Asian News International (ANI) on August 26, said India and Cambodia’s 70 years of diplomatic relations have reached a “remarkably high level”.
He told ANI that both countries enjoy good bilateral cooperation in the region, with India as a strong international dialogue partner with ASEAN.
Kuong said India has direct flights to nine ASEAN states except Cambodia, adding that early 2024, India may offer direct flights from New Delhi to Cambodia. “It will be easier for tourists and investors to travel between both countries.”
In 2022, trade turnover between Cambodia and India totalled $440 million, up 41.4 per cent from $311.24 million in 2021. Cambodia’s exports stood at $196.6 million, up 56 per cent while imports from India rose 31.4 per cent to $243.4 million.