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Vietnam trade drops, PM wants more SEZs

Vietnam trade drops, PM wants more SEZs

Bilateral trade between Cambodia and Vietnam dipped 8.1 per cent year-on-year to $2.17 billion in the first five months of the year on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh said in a Facebook post.

Cambodia exported $476 million worth of products to the Vietnamese market during the period, down 15 per cent, and imported $1.7 billion, down six per cent, the post said, citing data from Vietnam’s General Department of Customs.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh said Vietnam’s investment activities in the Kingdom focus on areas such as agriculture, banking, telecommunications – information technology, industrial production, processing – and manufacturing.

“The investment activities of Vietnamese enterprises in Cambodia have contributed significantly to the economic development and social security of the Kingdom of Cambodia,” said Minh.

He said the Kingdom had 21 investment projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of nearly $64 million – ranking number 54 among 132 partners.

At the inauguration of the Da Market border marker in Tbong Khmum province late in December, Prime Minister Hun Sen called for more Special Economic Zones [SEZ] along the Cambodia-Vietnam boundary so as to attract additional investments.

“I want more SEZs to be established along the Cambodia-Vietnam border to attract Vietnamese investors and [support] the export market. If we develop more [SEZs], we will be able to process agricultural products into finished goods for export,” said Hun Sen.

The embassy said Cambodia mainly exported paddy, milled rice, cashew nuts, natural rubber, tobacco leaves and bananas to Vietnam, and imported steel, oil, vegetables, fruits and fertilisers.

Minh previously said bilateral trade between Cambodia and Vietnam reached nearly $5.3 billion last year, up 11 per cent compared to 2018.

The Kingdom exported $901 million worth of products last year, a seven per cent year-on-year surge, and imported $4.4 billion, gaining 16 per cent year-on-year.

He said Vietnam currently has 214 registered projects in the Kingdom worth a total investment of $3.074 billion. Of these, 176 were ongoing with a total registered capital of $2.77 billion.

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