Cambodian exports to the US increased 29.73 per cent during the first seven months of this year on the same period last year, data from the US Census Bureau shows.
Cambodian goods exports to the US during the same period were worth $2.749 billion – up from $2.112 billion last year.
Cambodian imports from the US were worth $307 million during the seven months – up 25.97 per cent year-on-year from $243.7 million, it said.
The Kingdom’s exports to the US have continued to grow since travel goods – including handbags, backpacks and luggage – were granted duty-free status under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) in July 2016.
Ly Khunthay, Chairman of the Cambodia Footwear Association – which has 155 members – told The Post on Tuesday that buyers who trusted Cambodian exports were part of the reason for the increase.
“As we see it, the good quality of Cambodian products has attracted buyers from the US, Canada, Japan and Europe, and they continue to order more from us. I believe our exports will grow even more this year,” he said.
In the first half of this year, footwear exports under the GSP and the Most Favoured Nations (MFN) statuses increased by 14.61 per cent to more than $563 million compared to the first half of last year, a Ministry of Commerce report shows.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng noted that the establishment of new factories in Cambodia in the garment and footwear industry, as well as electronics manufacturing, had also contributed to the Kingdom’s export growth.
He said Cambodia had benefited from the trade war between China and the US.
“We are benefiting from the Sino-US trade war as [international] factories move their production line to our country to re-export to the US. Some US factories that export to China have also moved to Southeast Asia, including Cambodia,” he said.
He said the increase in Cambodian exports to the US is also due in part to a government mechanism that reduces the complexity of goods shipping procedures, which has sped up exports.
In the first half of this year, 34 new factories were opened, of which two produced footwear and 32 travel goods, said the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia.
Ministry of Commerce figures show that Cambodian exports under the GSP and MFN in the first half of this year – including garments, textiles and footwear, handbags, bags and luggage, and rice and bicycles – were worth more than $1.553 billion, an increase from $1.309 billion in the first half of last year.
Cambodia was the US’ 57th largest supplier of imports and its 104th largest export market last year. The value of Cambodian exports to the US totalled $3.8 billion last year, while US exports to the Kingdom were valued at $447 million.