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Thai exports: Cambodia’s severe trade imbalance

Thai exports: Cambodia’s severe trade imbalance

The value of Cambodian exports to Thailand reached $163 million in the first half this year, an increase of about 21 per cent compared to the same period in 2012.

Despite the rise, the number is minuscule next to imports from Thailand, because the Cambodian products are largely low value-added, unprocessed items, such as paddy rice.

According to statistics from the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh, while total bilateral trade reached $2.3 billion in the first half of this year, the number of imports from Thailand held 93 per cent of the total figure.

Kong Putheara, director of the statistics department at the Ministry of Commerce, said Cambodian and Thai trade figures are far from balanced.

“Cambodian exported products are raw material, which is why we can earn lower value comparing to Thailand that exports the finished product.”

Thai exports to Cambodia include petroleum, consumer products and construction materials. Cambodia primarily ships agricultural products and fishing products.