Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trade deficit with VN shrinks 6%

Trade deficit with VN shrinks 6%

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Bavet-Moc Bai international border checkpoint is the largest such gate in Svay Rieng province. Hean Rangsey

Trade deficit with VN shrinks 6%

Cambodia narrowed its trade deficit with neighbour and fellow ASEAN member state Vietnam last year even as the Covid-19 pandemic triggered tighter border control over fears of spreading the novel coronavirus.

Trade between the Kingdom and Vietnam was worth $3.020 billion in 2020, inching down 1.1 per cent from $3.054 the previous year, according to Ministry of Commerce statistics.

Cambodia exported $385.79 million worth of goods to Vietnam in 2020, surging 14.88 per cent from $335.82 million in 2019, and imported $2.634 billion, down 3.10 per cent from $2.718 billion.

The Kingdom’s trade deficit with Vietnam reduced to $2.248 billion, marking a nearly six per cent drop from $2.382 billion in 2019.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng told The Post on March 8 that neighbouring countries offer the Kingdom a hot market for agricultural goods.

“The surge in our exports to Vietnam reflects the commitment between our two governments in promoting cross-border trade and above all the advancement of people [who live in] border [areas].

“I’d even go as far as to say that neighbouring countries are the best export destinations due to their easy [accessibility] for our commodities – agricultural products for the most part such as paddy, corn, rubber and legumes.

“And while we chiefly ship out raw materials, things remains all in all good for our farmers. If we didn’t have Thailand or Vietnam buying our agricultural merchandise, we’d be in deep water given our lack of storage” capacity, Heng said.

The government is pushing for the construction of two border “model markets” in Kampot and Svay Rieng provinces along the shared frontier with Vietnam in a bid to fuel bilateral trade and ratchet up Cambodia’s exports.

This comes after Da Market, the first of this kind, was inaugurated on December 24, 2019, in Tbong Khmum province.

And according to minister Pan Sorasak, Kampot’s model market should break ground by the end of the year near the Prek Chak International Border Checkpoint that links the coastal province to Vietnam’s Kien Giang province.

Heng said the border markets will play a crucial role in promoting the country’s exports to Vietnam. “We’re setting up model markets at the border – the likes of Da Market of Tbong Khmum and Prek Chak Market of Kampot. These model markets are poised to accelerate the export of our agricultural products.

“Of course, the government’s policy [implies that] we shouldn’t want to export raw materials where we lose value-added, but we cannot keep them as we don’t have enough storage capacity.

“Once we’re able to bring in more investors into the processing sector, there’ll be a decline in the export of raw materials,” he added.


  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Inter-provincial travel ban lifted; Phnom Penh and Takmao not exempted

    The government on April 25 decided to lift the inter-provincial travel ban and the closure of tourist attractions across the country, effectively immediately. The travel ban and closures of all resorts were imposed on April 6 and 17 respectively in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a