Trade between Cambodia and the US totalled $6.4793 billion in the first nine months of 2021, marking a 28.37 per cent year-on-year uptick from $5.0471 billion, according to the US Census Bureau (USCB).
In January-September, Cambodian exports to the US amounted to $6.1758 billion, a year-on-year jump of 28.26 per cent from $4.8149 billion, and imports clocked in at $303.5 million, rising by 30.70 per cent year-on-year from $232.2 million, USCB figures showed at the weekend.
Most Cambodian exports to the US during the period were clothing, footwear, travel products, bicycles and electronic components, and notable imports were cars, machinery and electronics.
In 2020, the US was Cambodia's largest export market, followed by China, Japan, the UK, Canada and South Korea, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told The Post on November 7 that the increase in trade volume indicates high demand on the US market for Cambodian products, and good diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Based on this data, Cambodia expects more investors to come and produce goods for export to the US market, he said.
"The reopening of tourism in many countries around the world is one of the main reasons why trade between the US and Cambodia has been consistently positive, especially for textiles and travel products.
“It is common knowledge that there have historically been many garment factories that produce for the US market," Vanak said.
However, he urged Cambodia to make efforts to diversify production beyond the traditional offerings.
Early this month, Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak expressed optimism that more US companies would discover Cambodia, and set up base in or expand operations in the Kingdom.
He was speaking at a November 1 meeting with a US-ASEAN Business Council delegation, led by senior vice-president and regional managing director Michael W Michalak – who served as US ambassador to Vietnam in 2007-2011.
In September, the US embassy in Phnom Penh opened the first US Department of Agriculture (USDA) office in Cambodia. The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) office – located at the embassy – has the role of supporting bilateral cooperation and trade in agriculture.
US ambassador to Cambodia W Patrick Murphy said in a statement: “There’s a great appetite for American agricultural products and technology in Cambodia, and this new USDA office will work to make them more available to Cambodian consumers and producers.
“That’s good news for both countries, and it reflects our longstanding commitment to ensuring the Cambodian people have access to high-quality goods and services from the United States,” he said.
Cambodian imported $72.7 million worth of US agricultural goods in 2020, climbing by 474 per cent over the last 10 years, according to the embassy.
Bilateral trade between the Kingdom and the US amounted to $6.9213 billion in 2020, up 17.89 per cent from 2019, USCB figures show.
The export value of Cambodian goods was $6.5777 billion, up 22.79 per cent from the $5.3568 billion posted in 2019, while goods imported from the US were worth $343.6 million, down 33.15 per cent from $514 million.