The European Union will continue to remain Cambodia’s biggest export recipient, mopping up $2.32 billion in shipments this year, with the US following a close second at $2.07 billion, according to Commerce Ministry estimates.
The ministry, which based the estimate on export numbers for the first 10 months, reported that the EU’s exports were dominated by garments, around $1.9 billion, with the rest of the shipments coming from textiles, footwear and rice.
The Asia Pacific market, a growing export destination for the Kingdom, had $1.1 billion in imports from Cambodia.
Ho Sivyong, director of the Import and Export Department at the Ministry of Commerce, said that an increase in exports was reflective of both the US and EU having increased confidence in buying from the Kingdom.
The figures show that exports to Vietnam reached $47 million, on the back of rubber, cashew and tobacco exports, with the African continent registering $15 million, with countries there buying Cambodian garments, rice and footwear.
“There is not much change in the Asian market, but we’ve seen an increase in agriculture products. We have also started focusing on the African market,” he added.
In a bid to improve these export numbers, Sivyong said that the government was working on setting up bilateral trade agreements, as well as negotiate favourable export conditions.
“We will continue to negotiate with bigger nations that are already export markets for Cambodia to have free trade agreement, including the US,” he added.
Cambodia’s trade volume in 2014 was valued at $18.1 billion, a 13.8 per cent increase from $15.9 billion in 2013, with the country’s export volume increasing from $6.9 billion in 2013 to $7.7 billion in 2014.
Of the exports in 2014, the EU received $2.3 billion, close to this year’s estimates, the US imported $1.7 million from the Kingdom, with this year’s import estimates expected to surpass that.