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Trade with Vietnam slows

Trade with Vietnam slows

121026_07

A man harvests corn on the outskirts of Phnom Penh in August 2012. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

Bilateral trade between Cambodia and neighbouring Vietnam grew by 17 per cent in the first nine months of the year compared to the same period last year, a decrease from previous years, the Vietnam Trade Office in Cambodia said yesterday.

An official said increased competition among other suppliers caused the slowdown.

The data showed a total trade volume worth US$2.452 billion on the exchange between January to the end of September, compared to $2.096 billion in the same period last year – an increase of 17 per cent.

This figure is less than previous years, which saw growth of more than 20 per cent.

Tran Tu, trade attaché for the Vietnam Trade Office in Cambodia, said the slower growth of imports and exports between the two countries was due to a decline in demand as a result of the economic situation between the two countries, as well as the global economy.

“The trade volume growth speed has slowed down in comparison to recent years due to economic difficulties in both countries, including the decreasing demand in both countries, the increasingly tough competition of the other suppliers in Cambodia, and especially high transportation costs,” he said.

“With this trend, I expect that the bilateral trade volume will reach approximately $3 billion this year, about 20 per cent up from last year’s figure,” added Tran Tu.

Cambodia’s total exports to Vietnam increased by about 10 per cent to $378 million in the period, compared to $345 million last year.

Cambodia’s main exports to Vietnam were aquatic products and seafood, corn, dried tobacco, rubber latex, paddy rice and cashew nuts, according to the data.

Cambodia’s total imports from Vietnam rose by more than 18 per cent to $2.074 billion, from $1.751 billion.

The main products were steel of all kinds and steel products, confectionery and cereal products, garments, rubber products, vegetables and fruit, paper, metal products, machinery, vehicles and spare parts.

In June this year, both governments pledged to spur the two-way trade to reach $5 billion by 2015. Tran Tu is still optimistic that the target will be realised based on current figures.

“This growth rate can still ensure the 2012 target of $5 billion set by the two governments,” he said.

Kong Putheara, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, could not be reached for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Kunmakara at [email protected]

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