Bilateral trade between Cambodia and Thailand increased slightly by 8 per cent during the first eight months of 2011 compared to the same period last year, according to the Thai Embassy’s Foreign Trade Promotion Office (FTPO) statistics obtained by the Post yesterday.
The increase in trade is due to continually improving relations between the neighbouring countries since the border conflicts ceased earlier this year, Commercial Counselor at the Royal Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh Jiranan Wongmongkol said yesterday.
“The import and export of products is now back to normal and we have a good relationship with the new government,” she said.
A breakdown of the figures showed Thailand exported US$1.808 billion worth of goods between January and September, a slim year-on-year increase from $1.638 billion. Concurrently, trade in the opposite direction declined 17 per cent from $151.52 million to $125.64 million. The bulk of Cambodia’s exports comprised agricultural products, garments, recyclable metal and fish, while imports from Thailand consisted of petroleum, processed goods and construction materials, Jiranan Wongmongkol said.
“We expect bilateral trade to increase 20 per cent [year-on-year] in 2011,” she added.
Ministry officials cited Cambodia’s export of agricultural products as the main reason behind the increase in bilateral trade.
“We mainly export products such as rice corn, cassava and beans, however, trade will decrease if demand for these goods declines,” Ministry of Commerce Statistics Department Director Kong Putheara told the Post yesterday.
Nguon Meng Tech, director general of Cambodia’s Chamber of Commerce said that Cambodian exports to Thailand declined as a result of decreasing rice exports.
“We now have the abilities to export directly to the rest of the world [due to the industry’s improving infrastructure],” he said.