Trade between Cambodia and Thailand surged 76 percent in the first seven months through July this year compared with the same period last year, rising to levels almost surpassing the total trade for 2009.
Bilateral trade increased to US$1.61 billion for the first seven months, eclipsing 2009’s first seven months of $913 million and only $50 million off 2009’s total of $1.66 billion, according to statistics provided yesterday by the Thai embassy’s Foreign Trade Promotion Office.
Chan Nora, a secretary of state for the Ministry of Commerce, said yesterday that agricultural produce, namely corn products, were considered the main drivers behind the surge.
“From my observations, I have seen Cambodia exported a lot of corn products to Thailand in this year. Corn production has been increasing very much,” he said.
Chan Nora said that in recent months fertiliser imports from Thailand have also been on the rise.
Mao Thora, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, said the statistics released yesterday pointed to a recovery after the global financial crisis dealt a blow to trade in 2009.
Trade between the two nations dropped 22 percent between 2008 and 2009.
“I think that everything is returning to normal. It seems that the world economic crisis recovery is making the imports and exports increase. I don’t know what might be the main product making trade increase,” he said.
The figures show that Thailand’s exports to the Kingdom rose to US$1.47 billion for the seven months, up from $881.15 million during the same period last year, while Cambodia’s goods shipped to Thailand reached $133.63 million, up 312 percent from $32.41 million.
Thailand’s exports included petroleum, processed goods, consumer products, building materials, fruits, vegetables and cosmetics, whereas Cambodia primarily sent agricultural products, secondhand garments, recyclable metal and fish.
Cambodian officials said in June that Thailand’s agricultural subsidies, which saw the Thai government temporarily extend loans to farmers in 2009, had contributed to slowing trade during the first four months of last year.
However the border tension between the two nations was not regarded as an economic barrier: The FTPO has previously said the 2009 trade dip was a result of the global crisis, not the border dispute.
Jiranan Wongmongkol, director of the Thai embassy’s FTPO in Phnom Penh, could not reached for comment.