Cambodia in January-April exported $504.04 million worth of machinery, electrical equipment, electroacoustic transducers, television image recorders and reproducers, and accessories and components thereof, representing a 57.1 per cent year-on-year rise from $320.75 million, according to Customs.
These items accounted for nearly 6.63 per cent of the Kingdom’s total exports in the first four months of this year, which amounted to $7.606 billion, General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) statistics show.
In April alone, exports of this category of products clocked in at $138.76 million, marking a nearly 101.3 per cent rise compared to the $68.94 million registered in the same month last year.
Chea Chandara, president of the recently-renamed Logistics and Supply Chain Business Association in Cambodia (Loscba), ascribed the jump in exports to higher volumes of orders from international buyers and a certain level of quality he said generally meets the standards that they require.
He gave other reasons, such as improvements in the political situation, investor confidence and transport infrastructure, as well as relative production sustainability during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Additionally, he told The Post that Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) – the Kingdom’s largest special economic zone in terms of size and occupancy – was stepping up production of prominent Cambodian items of export, including the aforementioned category.
He predicted that exports under the category would continue to grow, fuelled by opportunities provided by the bilateral Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), both of which took effect in the Kingdom on January 1.
Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, sees the uptick in this category of exports as a “source of pride” for the Kingdom, saying that these items are more technologically advanced and economically rewarding to produce than textiles or related goods.
He also likened the increased production of these items to a magnet for heavy industry like car assembly plants.
Moreover, Vanak believes that exports of all commodities will move in a positive trajectory, driven by trade pacts with other countries, along with recent revisions in the investment legal regime.
“The increase in exports will not only spotlight the potential of production in Cambodia, but also offset losses in domestic revenue from tourism,” he said.
For reference, the export of machinery, electrical equipment, electroacoustic transducers, television image recorders and reproducers, and accessories and components thereof reached $1.0811 billion last year, a nearly 42 per cent uptick from $762.47 million in 2020, according to the GDCE.