Cambodia's total exports to Vietnam had risen 54.87 per cent in 2011 year-on-year, officials said.
Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post
A worker dumps corn into a truck for export.
An improving economy and Thailand’s temporary suspension on importing Cambodian crops led to the increased exports.
Official data from the Vietnamese embassy’s Trade Promotion Office showed that bilateral trade between Cambodia and Vietnam grew 54.75 per cent to US$2.829 billion in 2011, compared to $1.828 billion in 2010.
Of this trade, Cambodian exports to Vietnam rose to $429 million in 2011, compared to $277 million the year prior. Total imports from Vietnam increased 54.63 per cent to $2.4 billion from $1.552 billion.
Chan Nora, secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, said the government wanted to promote trade with neighbouring countries by making it easier for countries to trade directly across borders, especially by facilitating traders’ successful passage through border checkpoints.
The government is working towards a “one-stop window”for exports, officials have said in the past.
Chan Nora also mentioned that issues with Thailand in recent years, together with the recent bans on Cambodian crops, had led Cambodians to orient more of the country’s exports towards the Vietnamese economy.
“Our crop exports to Vietnam rose sharply last year after Thailand suspended buying from us. So, our farmers have had to sell to Vietnam,” he said.
Cambodia’s total exports to Thailand decreased by more than 20 per cent year-on-year through November, the Post reported recently.
Tran Tu, trade attaché at the Vietnam Trade Office (VTO), wrote that after a difficult period between 2009-2010, the bilateral trade volume of the two neighbouring countries was on the rise again.
“This is because the two sides have been making great efforts to promote bilateral trade, with lots of activities including holding trade fairs, carrying out tariff preferences arrangements, and encouraging border trade,” he said.
Cambodia’s most-imported Vietnamese products included seafood, vegetables, coffee, confectionery, plastics, clothes, footwear, glass, steel, computers and spare parts, transportation vehicles, and mobile phones. Vietnam’s Cambodian imports included aquatic products, corn, tobacco, rubber, wood products, and steel, according to the data.
Tran Tu said a rising average Cambodian income required more imports to meet a growing local consumption.
“Of course, Vietnam-made products can well meet Cambodian consumer requirements, especially because they have good quality, and are now considerably cheaper than the others,” he said.
Chan Nora echoed this sentiment, saying: “Vietnam’s products are now popular among our consumers for their good quality and affordable prices.”