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Cambodian trade with HK up

Cambodian trade with HK up

CAMBODIA’S bilateral trade with Hong Kong grew nearly 14 percent during the first five months of the year compared to the same period last year, Hong Kong Trade Development Council figures show.

Trade between the two climbed in line with increased consumption in markets around the globe, said Cambodia Chamber of Commerce Director General Nguon Meng Tech.

“The world economy is recovering, and people are beginning to make more purchases after being very strict during the financial crisis,” he said.

Two-way trade totalled US$231 million this year to the end of May, up 13.8 percent from $203 million for the same period 2009, according to the figures.

However, the improvement is off a low base as trade with Hong Kong plummeted 22.2 percent to $480 million in 2009 from $617 million in 2008. Hong Kong exported $225 million of goods to Cambodia this year to May, a 14 percent increase from $197 million for the same timeframe in 2009, and Cambodia exported goods worth over $6 million the other way, a 10.4 percent increase on last year.

The Kingdom’s garment industry was a major source of exports to Hong Kong, with footwear and textiles increasing this year. Of Hong Kong’s two main exports to Cambodia, shipments of cotton fabrics were up 26 percent, and knitted or crocheted fabrics climbed 27.8 percent.

However, such imports are a cause for concern, according to Nguon Meng Tech, as Cambodia misses out on fully benefiting from its garment industry, because it still imports most of the raw materials used for production. “If either local or foreign investors built fabric manufacturing factories [here], Cambodia wouldn’t need to spend as much money on imports,” he said.

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