The government collected 15.4 trillion riel or $3.7 billion in tax revenue in the first seven months of the year, which is equivalent to 58.7 per cent of the 2023 annual budget law, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

According to the ministry, 13.1 trillion riel or 86 per cent of the total consisted of tax revenue, while grants amounted to 790 billion riel (5.1 per cent), and other income 1.5 trillion riel (9.8 per cent).

Compared to the same period last year, revenue performance decreased 1.7 per cent from a year ago, of which tax revenue dipped 2.6 per cent, grants fell by 23.5 per cent, although other revenue increased by 27.4 per cent.

For July, up to 1.9 trillion riel tax revenue was collected, where 1.5 trillion riel consisted mainly of tax revenue, grants (109 billion riel) and other income totalled 267 billion riel, however, the ministry said total revenue for the month dropped 15.1 per cent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, between January and July, expenditure execution rose 17.3 per cent to 16.7 trillion riels, which was equivalent to 50.9 per cent of the 2023 Budget Law.

Looking at revenue and expenditure performance in the first seven months of 2023, revenue is “slow combined with the fast expenditure execution” that led to a deficit of 1.3 trillion riels.

“However, the deficit is at a low pace that is equivalent to 19.9 per cent of the planned annual budget deficit. Budget deficit in the first seven months is reflected in the increase of debt 3.3 trillion riel and increase of net acquisition of non-financial assets of nearly two trillion riels,” the ministry said.

Royal Academy of Cambodia economic researcher Hong Vanak has previously told The Post that although the global economic situation has not been good in recent years, domestic economic activity and Cambodia’s exports and imports to international markets are functioning like normal.

The stability of local businesses and the acquisition of new factories or enterprises have helped to steadily increase the internal revenue.

Vanak said as the government earns more, it is able to use more for human resource development and public investment.

“Government revenue is an important resource for the government to develop the country faster,” he added.

Data from the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) showed that total trade fell 14.5 per cent year-on-year to $32 billion from January to August 2023.

In that, Cambodia’s exports inched up 0.3 per cent to $15.7 billion, while imports fell 25.2 per cent to $16.3 billion.

Based on the figure, the GDCE said Cambodia reported a trade deficit of $588 million in the period, which is a sharp decline from $6.1 billion last year.