Cambodia’s global non-gold merchandise trade exceeded $ 29 billion in the first three quarters of 2021, increasing by about a quarter year-on-year, the Economy and Finance Ministry reported.
The Kingdom’s international trade has remained in positive growth territory even as the economy continues to be under stress from the Covid-19 crisis – particularly after the community event of February 20 – which puts pressure on them. key indicators of economic growth, the ministry said in its latest Socio-Economic Trends Report.
During the January-September period, exports of non-gold goods reached nearly $ 12.69 billion, up 23% year-on-year, driven by textiles, bicycles, furniture, fur skins, rubber, boards, solar panels, wiring and wiring. electronic and agricultural components and products.
Similar imports amounted to $ 16.5 billion – or 57.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) – up 26.5 percent year-on-year, mainly supported by fabrics, building materials and fuel. This indicates a trade deficit of almost $ 4 billion.
The ministry said, “Cambodia’s economy is expected to experience positive growth in 2021 due to the recovery of the global economic situation, the economy of Cambodia’s trading partners, coupled with the impetus of a number of sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing of non-clothing products, transport. and communication, and availability of orders and garment factories diverted from Myanmar to Cambodia.
Royal Cambodian Academy economics researcher Ky Sereyvath said increased imports and exports confirm the strength of the Kingdom’s production chains, even during peaks of Covid peaks.
He suggested that the increase in exports was likely due to factors such as increased domestic production capacity and orders from major international partners, while production chains in some countries faced greater disruption. due to the Covid-19 crisis.
He also argued that the increase in imports was mainly due to purchases of raw materials for the production of clothing.
“Although these numbers are not as high as in 2019, it is a good sign for Cambodia’s economic growth. The resulting trade deficit is not worrying, we cannot take this balance as a barometer.
“In fact, the United States’ trade balance has been negative since 1945,” Sereyvath told the Post on December 21.
He explained that a country’s balance of payments (BOP) is made up of a current account, a capital account, and a financial account, which together paint a better picture of the state of an economy. .
Although Sereyvath strongly believes that the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron will have a negative impact on global trade, he maintains that Cambodian exports would suffer a milder hit, claiming that they mainly include products from daily use such as clothing, raw materials and agricultural products.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce Vice President Lim Heng noted that imports and exports continued to grow even as the community outbreak on February 20 prompted the government to lock down some areas, factories and manufacturing companies.
He argued that it was a sign that Cambodian products are gaining a lot of support from the international market.
“In addition, Cambodia expects that the introduction of new investment laws and new trade facilitation procedures, as well as the promulgation of bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements, will help achieve more orders from now on, ”Heng said.
In 2020, the Kingdom’s exports reached $ 17.21537 billion, up 16.72% year-on-year from $ 14.74874 billion, and imports were $ 18.59048 billion, down 7.84% year on year against 20.17181 billion dollars, according to the Ministry of Commerce.