Cambodia netted $241.41 million from exports to Canada in the first quarter of 2022, marking an 8.1 per cent rise year-on-year from $223.23 million, and accounting for 98.2 per cent of bilateral trade over the period, according to Customs.

Statistics issued by the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) show that trade between the two countries in the period from January-March amounted to $245.85 million, up 6.4 per cent year-on-year, with imports from Canada to the tune of just $4.43 million, down 43.1 per cent.

The Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) is forging ahead with plans to open a representative office in Canada, following a series of Covid-19-induced delays, according to vice-president Lim Heng.

Heng underlined the value of establishing a representative office for Cambodia’s apex trade body in the North American country, as a channel to provide would-be investors and other interested parties with information concerning the Kingdom’s new Law on Investment and potential business opportunities.

The office would also offer Cambodian producers an invaluable option to market and sell their wares to a broader audience, he said.

“Opening an office overseas will not only bring in investors to Cambodia – it’ll provide an option for Cambodia to invest in a host of countries, as a fair portion of businesses in the Kingdom have the capacity to put money abroad,” he added.

Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told The Post on May 10 that Cambodian exports to Canada have remained on a steady growth trajectory, fuelled by high Canadian demand for the Kingdom’s goods coupled with improvements in bilateral diplomatic and trade relations.

He also explained that the sharp tilt in Cambodia’s favour was “due to the fact that Canadian products do not match the needs of the Cambodian market”.

“Cambodia’s trade surplus is due to the fact that Canada buys a lot of textile products from the Kingdom every year,” Vanak said.

On March 3, the Ministry of Commerce held a meeting on the CCC representative office in Toronto, which revealed that a feasibility study for a second office in Montreal was in the works.

According to the CCC’s Heng, the chamber also plans to open representative offices in Japan, China, the US and EU.

The GDCE trade figures were not broken down by category, but for reference, in 2020 Cambodian exports to and imports from Canada were to the tune of $750.67 million and $55.53 million, respectively, according to Trading Economics.

The latest figures on the statistics website indicate that in 2020, “articles of apparel, knit or crocheted” accounted for $467.73 million or 62.31 per cent of Cambodia’s exports, while “vehicles other than railway, tramway” made up $24.07 million or 43 per cent of the Kingdom’s imports.