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Exports driving shift in Thai trade

Shoppers explore vendor stalls at the Top Thai brands exhibition held last year at Phnom Penh’s Koh Pich Centre.
Shoppers explore vendor stalls at the Top Thai brands exhibition held last year at Phnom Penh’s Koh Pich Centre. Heng Chivoan

Exports driving shift in Thai trade

Cambodian exports to Thailand surged by 46 percent last year compared with 2015 while imports from the neighbouring country decreased slightly, according to statistics provided yesterday by the Ministry of Commerce.

The value of Cambodian exports to Thailand reached $936 million by the end of December, from $639 million a year earlier. However, imports fell 6 percent to $4.6 billion during the same period.

Total bilateral trade declined slightly year-on-year, now at about $5.6 billion.

Soeng Sophary, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, said that while the trade imbalance was still heavily in Thailand’s favour, the increase in exports was a sign that investment in Cambodia’s production capabilities was increasing beyond just satisfying domestic demand.

“Following the growth of foreign investors and domestic investors into Cambodian production, we have continued to build up our capacity for production and we expect that exports to Thailand will continue to increase,” she said.

“Our production capacity is not only for exporting, but also to supply our domestic market, which will slowly ease our reliance on imports.”

Sophary added that the Ministry of Commerce would continue to promote bilateral trade between the two countries, including organising trade fairs, such as the one that opened yesterday in Phnom Penh that brought in 220 Thai companies to display their goods.

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