Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Q1 exports to Thailand soar

Q1 exports to Thailand soar

Q1 exports to Thailand soar

Cambodia's exports to Thailand jumped 55 per cent year on year in the first quarter of 2012 on what experts and officials said was a smoother political relationship between the countries, as well as an easing of Thai border regulations.

The Kingdom shipped US$85.4 million in agricultural products, recycled metal and fish to the western neighbour, data from the Thai Embassy’s Foreign Trade Promotion Office to Phnom Penh showed.

On par were increases in imports from Thailand, which dominated the bilateral trade relationship.

Worth $1.05 billion, imports of petroleum, processed goods, cement and consumer products from Thailand increased 58.4 per cent during the same period.

“Now Cambodia’s economy is doing well and Thailand’s economy is improving. But more important is that the political relationship between the two countries is improving,” Jiranan Wongmongkol, an official at the trade promotion office, said yesterday.

Trade, particularly energy exports to Thailand, were set to increase during the next three years.

The completion of a $3 billion coal-fired power station in Koh Kong province, a joint venture between Cambodian tycoon Ly Yong Phat and Thailand’s Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Plc, would see Cambodia’s first energy exports.

In early February, thousands of tonnes of cassava and other agricultural exports were stopped from entering Thailand, the Post reported at the time. Since then, border restrictions have been resolved, but not before diverting trade to Vietnam.

Thai business associations most likely created the stoppage, not government directives, business and economics lecturer at the University of Cambodia Chheng Kimlong said yesterday.

Such regulation would violate World Trade Organization rules, he said.

“If we could show that it was the government that was backing [the regulations], this would be against WTO policy. So we could accuse them of this.

But this wasn’t the case,” he said.

Further diversification of Cambodian exports would lead to less trade with Thailand, Chheng Kimlong said. Exports to Vietnam, China, and Malaysia – which officials have hailed as more stable markets – would take priority over exports to Thailand, he said.

Despite political progress, there was still uncertainty over the future of the Cambodia-Thailand relationship, Chheng Kimlong added.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Kunmakara at [email protected]


  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by

  • Final poll results confirm first single-party Assembly

    IN an unprecedented situation in Cambodian politics, the official results of the July 29 national elections have declared that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will take all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of it receiving 76 per cent of the votes. The National

  • US to ramp up sanctions after ‘flawed’ national polls

    At a press conference on Wednesday, the US State Department announced that it would expand visa sanctions on the Cambodian officials and individuals it deems responsible for “undermining democracy” in Cambodia. At the briefing, spokesperson Heather Nauert reiterated that the department regarded the July 29 elections