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NBC report: Exports jump to $6.8B, imports hit $10.5B

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National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto speaks during the central bank’s first-half results meeting on Saturday. HIN PISEI

NBC report: Exports jump to $6.8B, imports hit $10.5B

Cambodia's total exports during the first half of this year jumped to $6.8 billion, from $6.2 billion during the same period last year. Imports reached $10.5 billion, said the National Bank of Cambodia’s (NBC’s) first-half report.

The US market share in the exports was 28 per cent, Europe’s was 26.6 per cent, the UK’s was 6.6 per cent and Japan’s was 7.7 per cent, said the report.

Some 46 per cent of imports came from China, 15.6 from Thailand, 13.2 per cent from Vietnam and 4.5 per cent from Japan.

Speaking during the NBC’s first-half results meeting on Saturday, director-general Chea Serey said the global economy’s favourable environment has continued to boost the Cambodian economy.

However, Cambodia’s exports are far less than its imports. “The ideal scenario is that exports must be more than imports, but in reality, our [import] growth is greater due to higher domestic demand,” said Serey.

She said Cambodia must strive to further boost its exports and diversify both products and their destinations. The Kingdom’s main exports include clothing, footwear, bags, electrical equipment, bicycles and rice.

The report said Cambodia’s foreign exchange reserves have also continued to grow gradually. The report shows as of the first half of this year, reserves reached $11.1 billion, which could guarantee 4.9 months’ import cover.

High levels of foreign exchange reserves have strengthened investor confidence in the resilience of the Cambodian economy.

NBC governor Chea Chanto said that though the global economy faces many challenges – such as a slowdown in investment due to the Sino-US trade row, the UK’s departure from the EU and other regional factors – none of these issues has had a significant impact on Cambodia’s economic growth.

“As a national monetary authority, the National Bank of Cambodia has contributed to keeping inflation low, maintaining a stable exchange rate and raised foreign exchange reserves to high levels to strengthen macroeconomic stability and support the economic progress of Cambodia,” said Chanto.

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