BILATERAL trade between Cambodia and Malaysia declined more than 6 percent in the first 11 months of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, figures released by the Malaysian Embassy showed Tuesday.
Recorded trade from January to November 2009 was US$156.1 million, down from $166.8 million in 2008 – a decline of 6.4 percent. Of this, Malaysia’s exports to Cambodia fell by 8 percent, to $142.1 million in 2009 from $154.4 million in 2008. Cambodia’s exports to Malaysia rose 22.8 percent, to $14 million from $11.4 million, representing a 10.4 percent decline in Cambodia’s trade deficit with its ASEAN partner.
Syed Farizal Aminy Syed Mohamad, chargé d’affaires at the Embassy of Malaysia in Phnom Penh, said: “The main reason for the drop is the economic crisis. Secondly, I think the decline is because Cambodia trades in US dollars. When the economic crisis arrived, the dollar became very expensive.”
He said that Malaysia’s main exports to Cambodia were chemical products, machinery, appliances and electrical products. Malaysia imports textiles, clothing, raw rubber, and logs from the Kingdom.
The Republic of Korea’s Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) also released its annual figures. Bilateral trade between Cambodia and South Korea declined 5.51 percent year on year in 2009, to $291 million from $308 million in 2008.
Exports to South Korea rose 28.6 percent to $18 million from $14 million, while South Korean exports declined 7.2 percent to $273 million last year from $294 million.
Chairman of the Korean Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (KOCHAM), Nam-Shik Kang, said Tuesday that trade barriers between the two countries include the cost of electricity and the expense of importing and exporting in Cambodia.