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Vietnam trade passes $2bn

Vietnam trade passes $2bn

Trade between Cambodia and Vietnam surpassed a US$2 billion trade target for 2011 in just the first nine months of the year, according to the Vietnam Trade Office in Phnom Penh.

Trade between the two countries hit the higher-than-projected $2.07 billion in September, up from about $1.3 billion during the same period in 2010, data from the Vietnam Trade Office showed.

Higher global food prices accounted for the more than 60 per cent increase, not the volume of goods traded, Tran Tu, trade attaché at Vietnam Trade Office, said yesterday.

The resumption of Vietnamese-owned projects in Cambodia, however, led to an increase in imported machinery after a period of economic uncertainty, he said.

“We see the demand for products in both countries recovering. More and more Vietnam-owned investment projects have been continued with a need for imported machinery and materials from Vietnam,” Tran Tu said, adding that investment promotion and international trade fairs had also helped push passed the annual trade target.

The violent border dispute that broke out between Cambodia and Thailand in February redirected some trade toward Vietnam, Ok Boung, secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, said yesterday.

“Of course, we had a problem on the border with Thailand, something we didn’t have with Vietnam. So there will be a greater flow of products between our two countries,” he said.

“This is complementary. When we have a problem with one side, the other side will complement it.”

Imports from Vietnam accounted for the majority of the bilateral trade figure, the data showed. Cambodia imported iron, steel, plastics, garments and footwear worth more than $1.7 billion, or a 57 per cent increase, during the first nine months of 2011.

Cambodian exports to Vietnam increased nearly 79 per cent year-on-year, hitting about $342.4 million, according to the data.

The Kingdom’s main exports to Vietnam were food and agricultural products such as seafood, corn, tobacco and rubber.

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