Bilateral trade between Cambodia and the US amounted to $614.5 million in the first month of this year, up 4.89 per cent over the $585.8 million posted in January 2020, data from the US Census Bureau show.

The Kingdom exported $580.6 million worth of merchandise during the period, up 3.69 per cent year-on-year from $559.9 million, and imported $33.9 million, up 30.88 per cent year-on-year from $25.9 million.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng told The Post on March 7 that the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drives in the Kingdom and in the US would lead to a year-on-year increase in bilateral trade for 2021, pointing out that the US is Cambodia’s main export destination.

While the US has not reauthorised its General System of Preferences (GSP) trade-benefits programme following its December 31 lapse, Heng noted that the number of international companies applying to open factories in the Kingdom has not shown signs of slowing.

“The US is a major market for Cambodia, so with the resumption of the US economy, demand for imports of all kinds of consumer goods will surge in parallel,” he said. “When the US government subsequently renews GSP [privileges] to Cambodia, there’ll be more companies with a US market coming to invest in Cambodia.”

Heng is optimistic that scores of new Cambodian products will make their debut on the US market this year, in addition to existing offerings with high-sales potential such as clothing, footwear, bags and electronic components.

At the same time, he cautioned that shipping costs have been on a steep uptrend in recent months and could potentially pose as barriers to Cambodia’s international trade.

Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, pointed out that Cambodian-US trade figures were a bright spot in a global commercial landscape mottled with Covid-19 blotches.

“I think that with this first-rate start, the two countries’ total trade balance will grow significantly in 2021,” he said, adding that textiles remain a priority for Cambodian export to the US.

Trade between Cambodia and the US was worth $6.9213 billion last year, up 17.89 per cent over 2019, data from the US Census Bureau show.

Cambodian exports to the US were to the tune of $6.5777 billion, up 22.79 per cent from the $5.3568 billion posted in 2019, while imports clocked in at $343.6 million, down 33.15 per cent from $514 million.

Source: Phnom Penh Post