Bilateral trade between Cambodia and South Korea in the first half of 2021 was valued at $451.98 million, up by 6.7 per cent year-on-year from $423.51 million, according to data from the Korea International Trade Association (Kita).
In the January-June period, the Kingdom exported $159.40 million, down by 1.6 per cent year-on-year from $162.06 million, and imported $292.59 million, up by 11.9 per cent from $261.45 million a year earlier. The trade deficit widened by 34.0 per cent from $99.39 million to $133.19 million.
In June alone, the Kingdom exported $19.94 million, down over nine per cent from $22.03 million in June 2020, and imported $55.00 million, up nearly 19 per cent from $46.36 million on a yearly basis.
Cambodia mainly exported footwear and other apparel, travel products, beverages, electrical and electronic components, rubber, pharmaceuticals and agricultural products to South Korea, and imported vehicles, electronics, kitchen appliances, beverages, pharmaceuticals and finished plastics and products, Kita reported.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng noted that imports of large quantities of cars, personal protective equipment (PPE), and Covid-19 antigen rapid test kits drove up trade during the period.
Factory closures in the Kingdom stymied production for export to South Korea, he noted, positing that sales of Cambodian goods in the East Asian country would tick back up once the goal of vaccinating 10 million people nationwide against the novel coronavirus is attained.
“I believe that the materialisation of the bilateral free trade agreement [FTA] between Cambodia and Korea will further help boost Cambodian exports,” he told The Post.
On February 3, the two countries concluded talks for a bilateral FTA, which Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak and his Korean counterpart Yoo Myung-hee plan to sign later this year, setting zero tariffs for a broad range of goods.
Cambodia-South Korea trade amounted to $884.88 million in 2020, down 17.77 per cent from $1.032 billion in 2019, according to Kita.
Cambodia exported more than $317 million of goods to the South Korean market last year, which was down by 5.4 per cent, and imported over $567 million, plunging by 18.6 per cent from $696 million in 2019.