In a heartening development for trade and diplomatic ties, the Ambassador of Indonesia to Cambodia, Dr. Santo Darmosumarto, has expressed unwavering optimism about the burgeoning trade potential between the two countries. At a recent business dinner hosted by the Indonesian embassy, Ambassador Darmosumarto confidently predicted that the trade value between Indonesia and Cambodia could soar past the $1 billion mark by the end of 2023.
Indonesia has steadily climbed the ranks among Cambodia’s trade partners, currently holding the sixth position, trailing only behind major players like China, the United States, Vietnam, Thailand, and Japan. Recent data from the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE) of Cambodia reveals a significant increase in trade between these Southeast Asian neighbors, with a total value of $808.07 million. This represents an impressive 18.6 percent growth compared to the previous year.
The Ambassador highlighted the cultural and culinary similarities that bind the two nations together, explaining, “Indonesia has a lot in common with Cambodia, with the most basic similarity being the food we eat, as rice is the staple diet for both our countries. Usually, when people eat rice, there’s usually some common denominator there.” Such shared elements of culture and cuisine have fostered a growing appreciation for Indonesian products, particularly in the food and beverage sector among Cambodian consumers.
The business dinner was organized to honor the winner of the prestigious Indonesian Primaduta Award, recognizing outstanding exporters. This marked a significant moment, as it was the first time a Cambodian company received this esteemed award. Bunly Kim, Director of Kabbas, the deserving recipient, spoke about the desirability of Indonesian products in Cambodia, particularly their competitive pricing.
Beyond cultural bonds and economic achievements, the connections between Indonesia and Cambodia run deep, as both countries have a shared history as two young and modern nations. Indonesia has played an essential role in supporting Cambodia’s peace process, and there is a strong people-to-people connection that underpins this enduring relationship.
Samheng Bora, Secretary of State, Minister of Commerce of Cambodia, expressed his enthusiasm for potential investments from Indonesia and the growing interest in trade, especially in the food products sector. “Maybe in the future, we can explore and share our own products with Indonesia as well. In food products, I think we have a large market, and vice versa,” he remarked.
Indonesia-Cambodia trade partnership is thriving and holds immense promise for the future. With increasing trade volumes, shared cultural affinities, and a strong commitment to expanding economic cooperation, both nations are poised to strengthen their ties further, bolstering their respective economies and fostering goodwill between their peoples.