Cambodia’s total merchandise exports reached $22.483 billion in 2022, rising by 16.44 per cent over 2020, narrowing its international trade deficit by 20.60 per cent to $7.459 billion, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE).
The 2022 international merchandise trade came in at $52.425 billion, up 9.19 per cent on a yearly basis, with imports accounting for $29.942 billion, up 4.32 per cent.
GDCE figures show that exports have increased each year since at least 2016 – 16.71 per cent in 2016, 13.01 per cent in 2017, 12.54 per cent in 2018, 16.79 per cent in 2019, 24.36 per cent in 2020, 5.27 per cent in 2021, and most recently, 16.44 per cent or nearly one-sixth in 2022.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng believes that the trend will continue in 2023, as the Kingdom’s bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements (FTA) and preferential trade arrangements with the EU and US springboard local products into the international marketplace.
He also assured that the trade deficit is not a significant cause for concern, arguing that imports largely comprise raw materials and components used in the production of export goods, or in the construction of infrastructure aimed at promoting investment in the Kingdom.
“I believe that revenues from Cambodia’s exports will continue to increase in 2023, as the number of new investment projects keeps ticking up,” Heng said.
Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, remarked that the double-digit increase in merchandise exports underscores the relative strength of the Cambodian economy, despite the stagnation seen elsewhere as a result of Covid-19, elevated oil prices, the Ukraine conflict, and geopolitical conflicts between major powers.
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Author: Hin Pisei
Source: The Phnom Penh Post
Publication Date: 10 January 2023