Cambodia’s exports surged by 22%: “Showing the sword” to the RCEP market, but why did imports decline? ​

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[INNEWS Comprehensive Report] Despite the rapidly changing global economic situation, Cambodia has shown a strong export growth trend.

According to a report from the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce, in the first eight months of 2023, Cambodia’s exports to the markets of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Agreement (RCEP) member countries reached US$5.261 million, a year-on-year increase of 22.37%. At the same time, Cambodia’s imports also showed a slight downward trend, down 19.25% year-on-year.

Penn Sovicheat, spokesperson of the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce, pointed out that Cambodia’s exports to the 15-country RCEP market have contributed significantly to economic growth. Although trade volumes with RCEP countries have fluctuated, Cambodia’s overall export figures to these markets have increased. This trend shows that Cambodia is actively using the RCEP multilateral free trade agreement in an effort to seek profits, as predicted by economic research institutions.

Penn Sovicheat further stated that within the RCEP framework, efforts will be made to utilize this trade platform, which is of great significance to our future cooperation as well as in other areas. This growth is expected to bring huge business benefits.

Cambodia’s five major trading partners under RCEP are China, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Japan. The report details that most of Cambodia’s export products include: agricultural products, spare parts, auto parts, electrical equipment, electronics and textiles, clothing, clothing and footwear.

On the other hand, most of the products imported by Cambodia are raw materials, textiles, clothing, fuel, construction materials, food, daily necessities, vehicles, machinery, electronic equipment, clothing, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, and cosmetics.