Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US seeks to produce bicycles in Kingdom, move away from China

US seeks to produce bicycles in Kingdom, move away from China

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Kingdom’s exports of bicycles to the US are expected to grow due to US-imposed tariffs on China. Post staff

US seeks to produce bicycles in Kingdom, move away from China

Cambodian exports of bicycles to the US are expected to gain from recent tariffs imposed by the US on China, thanks to several bicycle producers who have unveiled plans to move to the Kingdom, a report from a leading industry portal said.

Bicycle Retailer, the website of Kent International Inc – an American importer and distributor of bicycles and bicycle accessories – plans to move a large share of its production from China to Cambodia in the next few months.

As evidence of this, one of Kent’s major Chinese suppliers is building a new 500,000sq ft (46,452sqm) factory in Cambodia.

Kent CEO Arnold Kamler said the factory will begin shipping bicycles in September next year.

“Assuming the 25 per cent tariff takes effect, the idea is to move essentially all of our production from China to Cambodia,” he said.

After imposing a 10 per cent tariff on Chinese bicycles in September, the tariff is set to increase to 25 per cent in January.

To comply with US Customs’ rules of origin, Kamler said Cambodian parts and labour would make up at least 35 per cent of the value of Kent’s Cambodian bicycles, which will have Cambodia-made frames and forks.

The report said the factory that Kent is working with is in the south, near Phnom Penh.

Besides Kent International, Trek Bicycle Corporation – another US-based bicycle and cycling product manufacturer and distributor – is also reported to have plans to move production of at least 200,000 bicycles from China to Cambodia next year.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng said on Monday that the US’ decision to increase the tariff on Chinese products could lead some types of production in China slow down.
This, he said, will eventually negatively affect the export of some raw materials from Cambodia to China.

However, he said Cambodia should gain more than it loses as many factories in China, including those that produce bicycles, plan to relocate their production to the Kingdom where the cost of doing business is cheaper, and from where products can be exported duty-free to many major markets.

“We [CCC] have received more contact from investors abroad to know about Cambodia’s investment potential as they want to open their factories here. When they seek to expand their production, they should find Cambodia more interesting,” he said.

US trade data show that Cambodian bicycle exports accounted for $24 million last year. This placed the Kingdom third behind China and Taiwan which exported $874 million and $390 million worth respectively.

Besides the US market, Cambodia became the largest bicycle supplier to the EU last year when it exported more than 1.42 million bicycles – an increase of nine per cent from 1.29 million bicycles in 2016.
Cambodian made bicycles can be exported duty-free into the EU under the blocs Everything But Arms (EBA) programme.

Despite the tariff advantage and lower labour costs, there are challenges for manufacturing in Cambodia as the Kingdom lacks an industry cluster, which means many components must be imported, making it time-consuming and affecting costs.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • AstraZeneca jabs touch down in Phnom Penh airport

    The first shipment of 324,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/SII vaccine which was provided through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility was delivered to Phnom Penh International Airport on March 2. The rest of the COVAX provided vaccines will arrive in Cambodia at a later date.