Exports of electrical machinery, equipment and related products surpassed $2.1 billion in the first eight months of 2023, marking a near 100 per cent growth from the same period last year, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE).

GDCE’s data highlights that exports under Chapter HS 2 Code 85 reached $2.162 billion, a 98.5 per cent spike from $1.089 billion year-on-year. These figures represent 13.8 per cent of the Kingdom’s total exports, which amounted to over $15.692 billion during the corresponding period.

Lim Heng, vice-president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC), attributed this growth to the rising domestic production capacity and international demand.

“Cambodia is steadily becoming a key source of semi-finished products for global markets,” Heng said, emphasising the ongoing evolution of the country’s production chain, which increasingly relies on advanced technology and a robust industrial framework.

“The export surge not only boosts our national income but also positions Cambodia as a prominent global manufacturing hub. The presence of numerous factories producing such goods will inevitably draw more manufacturers to establish or assemble large machinery here,” he added.

Heng also noted the country’s advantageous political and trade ties, supplemented by bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements (FTAs).

“With the combined efforts of our government and the private sector, I am confident that our export trajectory will continue to soar, especially as the global economy recovers to its pre-2019 state,” he said.

Chea Chandara, president of the Logistics and Supply Chain Business Association in Cambodia (LOSCBA), highlighted other driving factors behind this uptick. The nation’s strategic geographical position, favourable investment laws, reasonable energy and labour costs and an efficient transport system have consistently drawn both domestic and international investors.

“Growing electrical machinery exports are vital, especially in counterbalancing the decline in textiles since mid-2022. With an increasingly efficient transport sector, our exports will undoubtedly expand in the future,” he said, emphasising the influx of factories investing in the country.

GDCE data from 2022 showed that Cambodia collected $1.998 billion from Code 85 exports, an 84.8 per cent increase from the $1.081 billion logged in 2021. This figure constituted 8.9 per cent of the country’s overall export value of $22.482 billion.