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Vietnam trade up

Vietnam trade up

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Vendors sell fruit at the Cho Hom market in Hanoi, Vietnam, earlier this year. Produce is a mainstay of Vietnamese exports to Cambodia, statistics show.

Trade between Cambodia and Vietnam increased by nearly 50 percent in the first three months compared year on year, according to statistics from the Vietnam Trade Office in Phnom Penh.

Officials credited a general economic upswing in both countries for the increase yesterday, as Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung visits Cambodia this weekend.

“The growing bilateral trade between Cambodia and Vietnam is a result of the recovery of the two countries’ economies,” said Kong Putheara, Deputy Cabinet Chief at the Ministry of Commerce.

The Vietnamese government was promoting investment in Cambodia, he said, also highlighting the Kingdom’s market friendly policies.

“That’s why we see more and more Vietnamese investment here,” he said.

Vietnam Trade Office figures showed Cambodia’s total exports to Vietnam rose 48 percent between January and March to US$128.5 million, up from $86.7 million in the same period the year before. Vietnam’s exports to the Kingdom jumped 49 percent to $515.8 million from $345.5 million year-over-year.

Cambodia typically exports unprocessed agricultural products such as wood, rubber, cashew nuts, unmilled rice and corn. Vietnam’s exports to Cambodia include a wide range of items, such as vegetables, fruit, cigarettes, and consumer products,

Vietnamese trade officials recognised the surge in business activity between the two countries in recent years.

“Now many Vietnamese producers and manufacturers are looking for business in Cambodia because demand is picking up,” said Tran Tu, Commercial Attaché for the Vietnam Trade Office, adding that Vietnamese businessmen now have better chances of finding investing partners in the Kingdom.

He also added that a two day visit by Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to Cambodia beginning Saturday – for the opening ceremony of Cambodia-Vietnam Securities’ headquarters and the second Cambodia-Vietnam Conference on Investment, Commerce and Tourism Promotion – “must be a clear chance for both the Vietnamese and Cambodians to seek partners and talk to each other about business cooperation and investment.”

“We welcome any foreign investors to the country,” said Kong Putheara of the Commerce Ministry, “because we lack the production capacity necessary to boost exports and curb the trade deficit.”

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