Cambodia’s total export to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) member countries amounted to $1.95 billion in the first quarter of 2022, up 11 percent from $1.75 billion over the same period last year, a Ministry of Commerce’s data showed on Thursday.
During the January-March period this year, Cambodia’s top three export destinations are Vietnam, China and Thailand, the data said, adding that the kingdom shipped products worth $759 million to Vietnam, $322 million to China and $318 million to Thailand.
Penn Sovicheat, Cambodian Ministry of Commerce’s undersecretary of state and spokesman, attributed the export growth to the RCEP free trade agreement, which entered into force on January 1, 2022.
“It’s just the start. The RCEP trade deal will give a big boost to our economy in the long term,” he told Xinhua. “Under this mega-pact, Cambodia is projected to see a year’s export growth at 9.4 percent to 18 percent, which will contribute to the national economic growth from 2 percent to 3.8 percent.”
The regional trade pact comprises 15 Asia-Pacific countries including 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) — Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam — and their five trading partners, namely China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
It will eliminate as much as 90 percent of the tariffs on goods traded between its signatories over the next 20 years.
“For Cambodia, China is a huge market for us, especially for our potential agricultural produce such as rice, bananas, mangoes, and cassava as well as industrial products, and processing goods,” Sovicheat said.
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Source: Khmer Times
May 01, 2022