Exports from Cambodia to the US in the first eight months of 2023 dipped 4.8 per cent to $6.1 billion, compared to the same period in 2022, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE).
Along with a 28.4 per cent year-on-year drop in imports from the US at around $160.4 million, bilateral trade value sank 5.6 per cent to $6.3 billion from $6.6 billion a year ago.
However, Cambodia continued to enjoy a trade surplus of nearly $6 billion, although it compressed from $8.7 billion last year.
The Cambodia-US trade volume ranks second after China at $8.1 billion.
For the month of August, bilateral trade grew 26.6 per cent to $952.7 million from $752.7 million last year. In that time, exports to the US increased 28.8 per cent year-on-year to $933.8 million, whereas imports from the US decreased 31.3 per cent to $18.9 million.
Speaking to The Post on Sept 12, Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng said although exports from Cambodia to the US are not as active as early 2022, there are positive signs. Cambodia’s export trends are expected to show positive signs to more export destinations.
There is also growth in new companies approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), which would help increase Cambodia’s export capacity to the US market.
“A relief in the global crisis and revival of economic and tourism sectors would also support the recovery of exports to the US,” he said.
He opined that the decline in the US exports and other countries from the second half of 2022 is due to the slow global economic growth, high inventory (stock ordered in early 2022), and the Russian-Ukrainian war crisis.
Most of Cambodia’s exports to the US market are clothing, footwear, travel bags, solar panels,bicycles and agricultural products.
From the US, Cambodia imports autos, machinery, electrical equipment and electronic components, and medical equipment, Lim Heng said.
During a meeting with Patrick Murphy, the US Ambassador to Cambodia on Sept 11, Minister of Commerce Cham Nimol asked the US to encourage its companies to place more orders from Cambodia and to invest more here to boost trade and economic growth between both countries.
In 2022, bilateral trade between Cambodia and the US totalled $9.3 billion, up 18.6 per cent from $7.8 billion in 2021.
Cambodia’s exports rose 19.7 per cent to hit $9 billion, while imports slipped 7.1 per cent to $312.5 million, the GDCE said.