Cambodia's Total Export Down 1.8 pct in First 7 Months of 2023

This photo taken on May 22, 2023 shows a view of the General Tire Technology (Cambodia) plant in the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) in Preah Sihanouk Province, Cambodia. Photo by Ly Lay/Xinhua

PHNOM PENH -- Cambodia exported products worth 13.52 billion U.S. dollars in the first seven months of this year, down 1.8 percent from 13.77 billion dollars in the same period last year, said a General Department of Customs and Excise's report released on Thursday.

However, the report showed that the Southeast Asian country's export to China rose by 16.2 percent to 814.7 million dollars during the January-July period this year from 701 million dollars in the same period last year.

China is the third-largest export destination for Cambodia after the United States and Vietnam, the report said.

Main products Cambodia exported included apparel, footwear, travel goods, bicycles, and a number of agricultural goods such as rice, rubber, cassava, bananas and mangos.

The report also indicated that the country exported garment, footwear and travel goods products to the international markets worth 6.36 billion dollars in the first seven months of this year, down 20.4 percent from 7.99 billion dollars in the same period last year.

Garment, footwear and travel goods industry is the largest foreign exchange earner for Cambodia. The sector consists of roughly 1,100 factories and branches, employing about 750,000 workers, mostly female.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said recently that unfavorable global economic situation, particularly in the United States and Europe, has reduced the demands of consuming products from the kingdom.

He added that people in those countries have earned lower income, so purchase orders from those countries are also declining.

Speaking of the rise in the export to China, Cambodian Ministry of Commerce's Secretary of State Penn Sovicheat said the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement and the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) had injected a vigorous impetus into the country's trade growth.

"The two trade pacts are catalysts for our long-term and sustainable export growth, and they are a magnet to attract more foreign direct investments to our country," he told Xinhua. 

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