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Kingdom leaders eye $5B mark as trade with VN continues rally

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A building under construction near the Olympic Stadium complex. Leaders in the Kingdom have said that the construction boom is one of the key factors that has revived bilateral trade between Vietnam and Cambodia. Heng Chivoan

Kingdom leaders eye $5B mark as trade with VN continues rally

The bilateral trade volume between Vietnam and Cambodia continued to grow during the first seven months of this year, prolonging an increase after three years of declines that ended in 2016.

Two-way trade between the Kingdom and its eastern neighbour reached $2.7 billion from January to July, a year-on-year increase of nearly 19 per cent, according to a report from Vietnam’s state-run media on Saturday.

The spokesperson for the Vietnam embassy in Phnom Penh couldn’t be reached for comment on Sunday.

However, speaking at a trade and investment forum in the capital last week, Vietnamese ambassador to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh said enterprises from both countries had plenty of potentials to work in the Kingdom.

“Enterprises of the two countries will have opportunities to learn, exchange and connect with partners, turning the potential and strengths of each into real projects in the coming years,” said Minh.

Despite providing a two-way trade figure, the report didn’t break down imports and exports by country. Trade data from Vietnam’s General Department of Customs last year revealed that the country’s key exports to Cambodia were steel, iron, oil, petroleum and consumer goods.

Meanwhile, Vietnam imported mainly wood products, cashew nuts, rubber and other agricultural products from Cambodia.

Cambodia’s Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng said the Kingdom’s trade with potential partners has been increasing with Vietnam and other countries due to stable economic growth.

The two nations have been striving to hit $5 billion in yearly bilateral trade since 2015, but have so far come short. But Heng expressed hope that the figure could be met by the end of this year.

“As our country keeps growing, and the construction sector continues to boom, the target for bilateral trade to reach $5 billion will be met this year."

“The demand for steel and other construction materials are increasing and this factor is the major contributor to achieving the goal,” he said.

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