Cambodian exports to neighbouring country Thailand almost doubled for the first quarter this year, compared to the same period in 2014, achieving $261 million in exports on the back of improving economic ties between the two countries.
According to the latest data from the trade office at the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh, total exports from the Kingdom was up 96 per cent at the end of March this year, a jump up from the $134 million accomplished during the same period last year.
Jiranan Wongmongkol, director of the Thai Embassy’s Foreign Trade Promotion Office, said that improving economic activity between the two countries was aided by the Thai government’s boosting of cross-border trade with Cambodia.
“The [Thai] government set favourable trade conditions for its neighbours, like Cambodia, especially with Thai traders buying Cambodian products at the same market prices as with Thai farmers,” said Jiranan.
Cambodia’s exports to Thailand mainly consists of agricultural products, used garments, recyclable metal and fish, whereas imports include vehicles, petroleum, construction material, fruits and vegetables.
Cross-border trade is expected to increase after the Chinese-backed $133 million National Road 5 connects the provincial town of Pursat to the Trat province in Thailand. During the groundbreaking ceremony for the new road, Prime Minister Hun Sen said the road will help spur trade and investment with Thailand, deepening their economic ties.
Trade volume between Cambodia and Thailand was $5.1 billion in 2014, an 11 per cent increase from the $4.6 billion in 2013, according to latest data from the Thai’s embassy’s trade office.
Jiranan said that the Thai government was planning to organize a trade fair from June 4 to June 7 to increase networking between local businessmen from both countries and further facilitate this trade growth.
“Of course, with the improvement of the situation in Thailand, our good relations and growth of Cambodia’s economy, this will be very good for our bilateral trade,” she added “I expect we will reach more than $5 billion [in trade] ending this year, about a 15 per cent increase.”