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Kingdom revs up pedal power

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Bicycles for sale are displayed at a store in central Phnom Penh. Post Staff

Kingdom revs up pedal power

As the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic spurs renewed interest in cycling and changes the public’s attitude towards bicycles, the local industry stands to rev up its pedal power and reap huge gains from heightened global demand.

Data from the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s General Department of Customs and Excise show that 876,612 locally-assembled bicycles worth $197 million pedalled into the international market in the first five months of the year.

This was up 26 per cent on a yearly basis, with European markets accounting for 60 per cent.

The Kingdom exported 495,341 bicycles worth $119 million to European markets and 223,912 bicycles worth $44 million to the US market.

It also exported 338 bicycles worth $94,137 to the Japanese market and 31,419 bicycles worth more than $8 million to other markets.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng said favourable investment laws and a young workforce has gradually enhanced the attractiveness of the Kingdom to the growing number of investors wanting to establish bicycle assembly plants.

He said the spread of the Covid-19 disease had had a hand in boosting the Kingdom’s bicycle exports during the period.

“The adoption of social distancing rules and reduced use of public transportation to prevent Covid-19 infections were key factors in the increased demand for bicycles,” he said.

Heng said the majority of the Kingdom’s bicycle assembly plants are Taiwanese-owned and are located in the Tai Seng Bavet Special Economic Zone in Bavet town’s Bavet commune in Svay Rieng province.

Cambodia exported $418 million worth of bicycles last year, up 26.28 per cent from 2018’s $331 million.

Heng said the Kingdom’s bicycle exports will maintain a healthy growth pace as developed countries encourage and facilitate switching from cars to bicycles.

“This trend in bicycle exports augurs well for boosted figures that outstrip last year’s levels,” he said.

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