After several months of decline, Cambodia’s exports surpassed $18 billion in the first ten months of this year, marking a modest increase compared to the same period in 2022.

The trade deficit also continued to shrink, reaching nearly $1.5 billion, as reported by the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE).

From January to October, Cambodia exported goods worth $18.59 billion to international markets, a 0.2% rise from $18.55 billion in the corresponding period last year. Meanwhile, the country’s imports totalled $20.07 billion, a 6% decrease from $21.36 billion.

The total volume of international trade in the first ten months of 2023 amounted to $38.67 billion, down 3.1% from $39.91 billion during the same interval in 2022. The country’s trade deficit stood at $1.48 billion, significantly lower than the $2.8 billion deficit recorded in the same period last year.

October 2023 saw a total international trade of $3.5 billion, up 1% from $3.47 billion in October 2022. The country’s exports increased by 11.6% to $1.65 billion, while imports fell by 6.8% to $1.86 billion, as per the GDCE.

Hong Vannak, an economic researcher at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, stated on November 12 that the growth in exports confirms the country is diversifying its exports more effectively, aligning with international market demand.

He said that the country previously depended primarily on textile exports. Now, he said, the country offers a broader range of products, which are not only of high quality but also responsive to the increasing global demand.

He acknowledged the role of direct investment and agricultural output growth in boosting the country’s exports. 

“The modest rise in export value in the first ten months of 2023 is a source of national pride, especially during a period of complex global economic challenges triggered by geopolitical tensions and conflicts,” he said.

He noted that increased domestic production has helped reduce imports, contributing to the narrowing trade deficit. 

“The growth in exports amid declining imports strengthens Cambodia’s international currency reserves, particularly crucial during crises,” he added.

Keo Mom, CEO of Ly Ly Food Industry Co Ltd, stated that the country is emerging as a promising destination for investment in agricultural cultivation, production and processing for both domestic consumption and export. 

She credited the government’s policies for attracting new investors and enhancing the country’s export capabilities.

“I foresee a rise in Cambodian exports in the future, with the country set to offer a broader range of goods,” she said.

The Kingdom’s international trade volume reached $52.42 billion in 2022, a 9.2% increase from $48.01 billion in 2021. Exports to international markets stood at $22.48 billion, up 16.4%, while imports were valued at $29.94 billion, a 4.3% rise, as per the GDCE.