Cambodian exports to India surged to nearly $191 million in the first nine months of 2023, marking an impressive 50% rise compared to the same period the previous year. Bilateral trade reached almost $350 million during the period, as reported by the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE).

From January to September, the total trade volume between the nations was $347.97 million, a 7.6% hike from $323.37 million in the same interval last year.

Breaking down the numbers, Cambodian exports to India stood at $190.92 million, up by 42.7%, while imports from India decreased by 17.1% to $157.05 million.

Cambodia saw its trade surplus grow by approximately $33.86 million. India currently ranks as the country’s 18th-largest trading partner.

Data for September shows a bilateral trade figure of $41.05 million, a 15.38% increase from September 2022. Cambodian exports to India for the month rocketed by 68.8% to $29.56 million, while imports from the world’s fifth-largest economy decreased substantially by 36.4% to just $11.48 million.

Hong Vanak, an economics researcher at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said on November 1 that the emergence of new investment projects and enhanced commodity diversification have enriched the country’s product range for export to India, currently the world’s most populous nation.

He said that securing a significant share of the Indian market is vital for Cambodia, both presently and in the future, especially as geopolitical tensions and global conflicts increasingly strain international trade flows.

“Although Cambodia’s exports to India are currently modest compared to target markets like the US, China and Vietnam, it’s a promising start. Given India’s vast population, the demand there is substantial,” he added.

According to, India currently holds the title of the world’s most populous country with 1.429 billion people, closely followed by China at 1.426 billion.

Lim Heng, vice-president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC), noted that the Kingdom primarily exports textiles and agriculture products, whereas imports from India predominantly comprise technology, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals.

During his meeting with Indian ambassador Devyani Khobragade in Phnom Penh on October 5, Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth expressed optimism about enhancing cooperation between the two countries, with a focus on fostering bilateral trade and initiating direct flights to strengthen interpersonal ties and boost tourism.

Pornmoniroth noted that both parties will collaboratively explore digital connectivity, a key focus in the development strategy of the Kingdom.

Khobragade expressed India’s hope that the two nations will bolster their cooperation in Cambodia’s priority areas in the new legislature.

This includes setting up mechanisms to enhance trade and investment via preferential trade agreements and fostering interpersonal ties through the proposed Indo-Cambodian direct flight, which India intends to introduce shortly, as per the ministry.

For reference, in 2022, trade volume between the two countries reached $440 million, a 41.37% increase from the $311.24 million recorded in 2021. Cambodia’s exports to India grew by 56% to $196.63 million, while imports from India rose by 31.4% to $243.37 million, according to the GDCE.