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Govt sees Q1 exports as good sign of growth

Govt sees Q1 exports as good sign of growth

Cambodia’s total export market surged 10 percent while imports grew 7 percent during the first quarter of 2010 compared with the same period last year, according to official statistics from the Ministry of Commerce on Friday.

Total exports rose to US$757 million for the first three months of the year from $686 million last year, and imports increased to $908 million from $847 million.

The figures are a sign that the economy is recovering from the global financial crisis in the areas of jobs and consumer demand, a government official said.

“The increase is because world consumption has gone up – especially consumption in the US market after its unemployment levels decreased. The crisis lowered people’s spending. But now, people have work, so they are spending more,” said Sok Sopheak, director general of the Ministry of Commerce foreign trade department.

He said he expects exports to continue to grow despite the figures showing a slight decline from January to March, with the Kingdom exporting $262 million worth of goods in January, $251 million in February, and $243 million in March.

And if exports were increasing, so would imports, he said.

“Whenever our exports increase, our imports also increase because we need to import raw material for production. I think our exports are still growing,” he said.

Cambodia’s garment and apparel industry is responsible for 70 percent of the country’s export market. It grew 7.24 percent in the quarter to $671 million from $626 million for the same period last year.

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