Kingdom’s export to US surges to $10 billion

Garment workers at a factory in Phnom Penh. The United States remains the biggest market for Cambodia because the main products exported were clothes and footwear products. Khmer Times

Cambodia exported $10,649 million worth of products to the United States in January-October this year, a 47.5 percent increase compared to the same period last year, the US Census Bureau reported yesterday.

The Kingdom imported $403 million worth of products from the world’s biggest economic power, a 16.5 percent increase year-on-year.

Cambodia’s trade surplus with the US is at $10,246 million.

In October alone, Cambodia’s export to the US amounted to $1,031 million, while import was valued at $30.5 million.

Cambodia’s export to the US was mostly garments and included goods such as footwear, bicycles and furniture under the trade preference – under the Most-Favoured Nation status and travel goods are exported under the General Specialized Preference (GSP).

The Kingdom’s import includes automobiles, machinery, electrical appliances and electronics.

The GSP status, offered to Less Developing Countries by the US, expired last December and the US government is in the process of reactivating the status.

Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak has recently appealed to visiting members of the US Congress to reactivate the GSP to Cambodia, citing the numerous benefits it provides.

“Cambodia has gradually benefited from the US Generalised System Preferences and provided more jobs for Cambodians,” Sorasak said.

Lim Heng, vice president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, said that the growth in export is due to the effective control of the Covid-19 situation, which led to the resumption of socio-economic activities, pushing up a good production chain in the factories.

“The US remains the biggest market for Cambodia because the main products exported were clothes and footwear products,” Heng told Khmer Times.

The Covid-19 crisis remained in other countries, disrupting the production chains. This has pushed up orders from elsewhere to Cambodia and a number of new factories have relocated to Cambodia, which resulted in export growth, he added.

Last week, a US business delegation attended a seminar in Phnom Penh to seek an understanding of the procedures and opportunities for exporting Cambodian products to the US market.

The forum provided insights into the procedures, standard requirements, and legal framework necessary to export food products/agriculture products from Cambodia into the US.

The participants also received an opportunity to connect with potential buyers and brokers who represent big supermarkets from the US, as well as key figures from public and private entities operating in the food/agriculture sector.

The seminar was expected to help increase the export of food products to the United States and to, aid increase in production and raise farmer incomes.

The US investment delegation said that the major US potential markets for agricultural exports from Cambodia include Lowell, Massachusetts, California, Seattle and Texas.

Noting that the US is Cambodia’s biggest market, Sorasak encouraged US investors and traders to invest in processing and packaging in Cambodia in order to facilitate export to foreign markets and avoid the problems of phytosanitary and product standards.

Source: Chea Vanyuth / Khmer Times