Bilateral trade between Cambodia and Canada totalled $583.04 million in the first half (H1) of 2022, up by 35.60 per cent from the $429.97 million booked in the corresponding period last year, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE).
In the January-June period, Cambodia exported $569.19 million worth of goods to Canada, rising by 38.6 per cent year-on-year from $410.69 million, and imported $13.84 million, down by 28.2 per cent from $19.28 million. The Kingdom’s trade surplus with Canada for the period stood at $555 million, expanding by 41.9 per cent from $391 million.
Canada was the fourth biggest buyer of Cambodian merchandise over the period, after the US, Vietnam and mainland China, GDCE statistics show.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng told The Post on July 18 that trade figures between the two countries, especially the Kingdom’s exports to the key economic player, have been steadily increasing.
The Kingdom’s major exports to Canada include textile-related items like garments, footwear and travel goods; bicycles; and agricultural products, he said, listing notable imports such as vehicles, electrical equipment and decorative materials.
Heng explained that the large market for Cambodian products in Canada encouraged the CCC to set up its first overseas representative office in the country, as a new avenue to attract Canadian investors to the Kingdom and a platform to showcase Cambodian-made goods.
He noted that the CCC opened the office in Toronto in late May, and may open another in Montreal in due time.
Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, indicated that the increased presence of Cambodian goods on the Canadian market would be valuable for the Kingdom’s interests, citing Canada’s status as a developed country and the high incomes its people earn.
Nonetheless, he called for Cambodia to strive to diversify its exports beyond traditional textile-related items, not just to Canada, but elsewhere. For the Canadian market, Vanak suggested agricultural products, of which he said the list of exportable items has grown considerably.
“Cambodia must make more efforts to boost exports to this country, but we must also not neglect to improve product quality,” he said.
According to the GDCE, bilateral trade between the two countries hit $994.72 million last year, up by 23.3 per cent over 2020, of which Cambodia exported $954.83 million, up by 27.1 per cent year-on-year, and imported $39.89 million, down by 28.2 per cent. The Kingdom’s trade surplus with Canada for 2021 stood at $914.9 million, expanding by 27 per cent from $720 million.