Bilateral trade between Cambodia and the US remained resilient in the first half of 2021, clocking in at $3.8402 billion, or a 32.8 per cent surge from the $2.8917 billion booked in the same period last year, despite the profound implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on international trade and the magnitude of uncertainty shocks in every aspect of the economic system.
Cambodian exports to the US during the January-June period were valued at $3.6376 billion, climbed 32.4 per cent year-on-year, while imports were to the tune of $202.6 million, rising 40.3 per cent, according US Census Bureau data on August 7.
The trade surplus widened by around 32 per cent to $3.4350 billion.
In June alone, the Kingdom’s exports to the US represented $506.1 million, jumping 30.37 per cent year-on-year, and imports were valued at $28.8 million, soaring 49.2 per cent.
Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told The Post on August 8 that the first half’s uplifting trade statistics in the face of the ongoing health crisis, especially exports, would be a driving force to attract fresh inward investment into the Kingdom.
He stressed how remarkable these figures were, saying that international trade had taken a hit virtually everywhere.
The Kingdom’s exports to the US were propped up by solid demand for finished textile products and bicycles, while imports were buoyed by cars, especially after the Cambodian government reduced a number of tariffs from the beginning of March, he maintained.
He suggested that the rise in trade volume could also indicate an upgrade in diplomatic relations between Cambodia and the US.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng said a solid recovery in the US economy had supported a steady uptick in consumer goods across the board, most notably daily necessities such as apparel.
International orders from Cambodian will pick up again once the Kingdom is able to gain a comfortable degree of control over new daily Covid-19 cases, he said.
“The US is a big market. If we can maintain export growth, it’d contribute a lot to revenue collection for national and social development,” Heng said.
Cambodia’s main exports to the US market were garments, travel products, footwear, bicycles and agricultural products, while the bulk of imports comprised automobiles, machinery, electrical appliances and electronics.
In 2020, bilateral trade between the two countries was to the tune of $6.9213 billion, expanding 17.89 per cent from $5.8708 billion in 2019.
Cambodian exports to the US were to the tune of $6.5777 billion in 2020, growing 22.79 per cent from the $5.3568 billion posted in 2019, while imports clocked in at $343.6 million, sliding by 33.15 per cent from $514 million, according to data from the US Census Bureau.