Amid political tensions, trade with US on the rise

May Kunmakara / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Women working in a local garment factory. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Despite recent diplomatic tensions, trade between Cambodia and the US is on the upswing, with Cambodian exports increasing by nine percent last year.

According to the US Trade Office, total exports from Cambodia to the US were worth $3 billion in 2017.

In 2016, their value was $2.8 billion.

Seang Thay, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, told Khmer Times yesterday that bilateral trade between the two nations continues to grow, particularly for garments and footwear.

“This makes sense since both countries have political stability and their economies are performing well. Businesspeople and investors from both nations continue to work hard to make this happen.

“In addition, the US included us in the Generalised System of Preference (GSP) for travel goods in 2016, which has contributed to enhancing trade, despite being a relatively small percentage of our exports,” Mr Thay said.

In July 2016, the US government granted duty-free benefits to Cambodia for the exportation of travel goods, including suitcases, backpacks, handbags and wallets under the GSP.

Exports of travel goods from the kingdom increased from $53 million in 2015 to $100 million in 2016.

Last year, the diplomatic relation between the two countries took a hit after the dissolution of Cambodia’s main political opposition party in November.

“There has been political issues, but they will be solved by our leaders while the business community continues to foment trade and economic activity.

“Investors are worried about the current political situation, but they continue their operations in the kingdom to expand their businesses,” he said.

In December, US retail multinational Walmart announced plans to increase orders of Cambodian products, including travel goods.

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