Cambodia exported bicycles worth approximately $527 million to international markets last year, up 27 per cent from 2019.
This establishes Cambodia as the No1 country in ASEAN and No5 globally for bicycle exports, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce.
Cambodia’s target markets for bicycles include the US, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, the UK, Denmark, Australia, Austria, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Italy, Colombia, Korea and Spain.
Bicycles imported to Cambodia in 2020 totaled to $8.38 million, with demand down 19.33 per cent overall. Cambodia’s bicycle imports came chiefly from Japan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand and the US.
Commerce ministry spokesman Seang Thay said the continuous increase in bicycle exports from Cambodia to international markets is due to the country’s political stability
and pro-business laws and regulatory environment along with an abundance of young workers, which all combine to create favourable investment conditions for the manufacturers.
He added that in addition to these favourable conditions, Cambodia is also a member of the World Trade Organisation, a member of ASEAN and party to several regional and sub-regional trade agreements.
Thay noted that included among those trade agreements is Cambodia’s free trade deal (FTA) with China.
“Cambodia has just recently reached a bilateral FTA with China and is negotiating bilateral free trade agreements with many other countries around the world,” Thay said.
According to Thay, there are currently five bicycle assembly plants in Cambodia – A and J (Cambodia) Co, Ltd; Speedtech Industrial Co, Ltd; Smart Tech (Cambodia) Co, Ltd; Xds Bicycle (Cambodia) Co, Ltd; and Evergrand Bicycle (Cambodia) Co, Ltd.
Hong Vanak, director of Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Economics Department, told The Post on January 14 that revenue from bicycle exports to international markets was contributing to the country’s economic growth through taxes and creating jobs for the people.
Bicycles remain consistently in high demand in many parts of the world.
“The production and export of bicycles from Cambodia to international markets will continue to increase further in 2021. However, manufacturers must also pay more attention to quality to be able to meet the market demand of buyers,” he said.
Lim Heng, vice-president of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce, said the growth of bicycle exports from Cambodia in 2020 could also be influenced by the spread of Covid-19.
“Social distancing means that less people are using public transportation, for one. And more people may be inclined to choose bicycling as a fitness activity because it can be done solo and it takes place outdoors, which lowers the risk of Covid-19 infection, especially as compared to going to a gym.
“So the overall result has been a steady increase in demand for bicycles,” he said.
Lim Heng asserted that the export of bicycles from Cambodia to international markets will also continue to grow because bicycle use in developed countries is trending upwards as an increased awareness of and concern for the environment is evident with the younger generation.
According to Bike-EU.com, a website specialising in the EU’s bicycle industry, Cambodia has been the leading supplier of bicycles to the EU since 2017, overtaking Taiwan who had held the top position for more than two decades prior.