Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Exports rose 19 percent: Commerce Ministry

Exports rose 19 percent: Commerce Ministry

The Ministry of Commerce in Phnom Penh, as seen last year. Photo supplied
The Ministry of Commerce in Phnom Penh, as seen last year. Photo supplied

Exports rose 19 percent: Commerce Ministry

The Commerce Ministry yesterday announced a 19 percent surge in exports for the year and a quadrupling of revenue collected from import licence fees, but would not provide analogous figures for total imports or explain what could be driving the increases.

According to the ministry’s annual report, the value of exports under the Generalized System of Preferences – which gives Cambodia favourable trade terms with developed countries – totalled $9.55 billion, a 19.22 percent increase on last year.

“The result is a huge achievement for our exports, the outcome of our hard work in the team,” said Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak. “We’ve tried to build up bilateral relationships in order to reach international markets.”

Sorasak said his ministry would continue to push other potential export products such cassava despite increasingly fraught relationships with key trading partners over the ruling party’s crackdown on the opposition.

The bulk of Cambodia’s exports are garments shipped to the European Union and US. Earlier this month, the European parliament voted to consider suspending Cambodia’s preferential trade access, with its politicians criticising political developments in the Kingdom including the dissolution of the CNRP.

“Even though there is some tension from the EU, it will not affect our markets and exports since everything is already booked,” Sorasak said.

The ministry’s annual report also says the government raised $2 million from issuing import licences – an increase of 336 percent from last year – and $9 million from issuing export licences, a rise of 37 percent.

When asked about the jump in revenue from import licence fees, ministry spokesman Long Kemvichet said the figure was collated from several government authorities so he did not know what was behind the rise.

Mey Kalyan, senior adviser to the Supreme National Economic Council, said the numbers could suggest that imports were growing faster than exports, raising concerns of a growing trade imbalance.

“We need to see: What do we import for? If we’re importing for construction or developing the country, it makes good sense for us. But if it’s for consumption then it means our local capacity is limited when it comes to producing by ourselves,” Kalyan said.

Lim Heng, vice president of Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, said it was imperative to keep exports growing.

“We still hope that our economic growth will keep increasing,” he said. Policies targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises – such the specialised state bank announced earlier this month – would be key to keep driving up exports next year, he said.

A World Bank report released last month says Cambodia’s long-running reliance on garments exports is easing as the sector’s growth slows and other types of manufacturing, such as electronics, strengthens. Tourism is also showing signs of renewed growth, it says.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the

  • Two major S’ville events could jumpstart international tourism: insiders

    Preah Sihanouk province is set to host two major international tourism-related events in late 2021 and early 2022, which insiders expect to ignite new interest among new and repeat foreign holidaymakers into visiting the Kingdom and significantly raise tourist arrivals from near zero in the Covid era.