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Cambodia’s Export Success: A Positive Outlook for Economic Growth

by Surya Narayan
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In a remarkable achievement, Cambodia’s export industry has seen a significant surge in value, with a remarkable increase of over 25% in 2022. The country exported goods worth more than $4 billion to the European Union, up from $3.2 billion in 2021, as reported by the Ministry of Commerce’s iTrade Bulletin for July.

Among Cambodia’s exports to the EU market, garments and accessories took the lead, valued at an impressive $2.64 billion. Additionally, footwear, gaiters, vehicles, and leather goods, among other products, contributed to the overall export growth. It is worth mentioning that Cambodia’s exports to the EU have made it the country’s second-largest export market, following the United States. Moreover, the EU stands as Cambodia’s fourth-largest trading partner, preceded by China, the US, and Vietnam.

This significant increase in Cambodia’s export value is a testament to the country’s strong diplomatic relations and the advantageous preferential tariffs offered on imports to the EU. Cambodia’s exemplary partnerships and the EU’s Everything but Arms (EBA) scheme, which grants certain Cambodian goods tax exemptions or reduced taxes, have played a crucial role in this economic success.

Looking ahead, prospects for Cambodia’s trade with the EU remain bright even beyond the current global crisis. The EU, comprising developed economies and high-income populations, presents a lucrative market, and Cambodia must continue to cultivate and sustain this relationship to further bolster export opportunities.

In terms of bilateral trade, Cambodia’s imports from the EU experienced a decline of 15.5%, amounting to approximately $811 million in 2022. Despite the dip in imports, the overall trade volume between Cambodia and the EU rose by nearly 16% to reach $4.9 billion, up from $4.2 billion in 2021. This growth signals a mutually beneficial economic partnership between the two entities.

While maintaining positive relations with the EU, Cambodia has also demonstrated its commitment to diversifying its export portfolio. In addition to clothing, travel bags, shoes, bicycles, and select agricultural products now serve as key components of Cambodia’s export industry. This expansion of export goods enhances Cambodia’s economic resilience and opens up new avenues for growth.

Furthermore, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict presents a unique opportunity for Cambodia to boost its agricultural exports to the European market. With Russia and Ukraine previously serving as major suppliers in Europe, Cambodia is well-positioned to increase its agricultural trade and further solidify its presence in the EU market.

The positive trajectory of Cambodia’s export industry in 2022, driven by robust political and diplomatic relations, showcases the nation’s resilience and potential for economic growth. The government’s commitment to cultivating partnerships, coupled with the EU’s support through preferential tariffs, has laid a strong foundation for Cambodia’s export sector to thrive.

The remarkable growth in Cambodia’s international trade volume is another testament to the country’s expanding economic prowess. With a 9.2% increase, reaching $52.4 billion in 2022, Cambodia has recorded a remarkable milestone. Exporting goods worth $22.5 billion, up by 16.4%, and importing $30 billion in goods from international markets, rising by 4.3%, highlight the balanced nature of Cambodia’s trade activities.

Cambodia’s export success story in 2022 paints a positive picture of the country’s economic growth and potential. By capitalizing on favorable trade policies and nurturing strong diplomatic ties, Cambodia has positioned itself as a formidable player in the global market. The surge in exports to the EU and diversification of export goods demonstrate Cambodia’s adaptability and resilience in navigating the ever-changing global trade landscape. With continued dedication and strategic planning, the future looks promising for Cambodia’s export industry and overall economic development.

Source: The PhnomPenh Post

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