Cambodia, Indonesia trade up slightly

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for an Indonesian trade expo in 2017. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Bilateral trade between Cambodia and Indonesia rose moderately last year, reaching $556 million in value, a 4 percent increase.

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Although trade with Asean’s largest economy is still relatively small, trade officials see great potential in the economic relationship between the countries.

Cambodian exports to the island nation rose to $33 million, a 29 percent increase. Indonesian exports to the Kingdom, by contrast, increased only by 2 percent and were valued at $525 million.

Chuon Dara, secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, said he expects bilateral trade to increase substantially in upcoming years.

“Indonesian firms are seeking opportunities to invest in Cambodia,” he said. “It is time Indonesian companies expand their businesses and investments in Cambodia.

“Indonesian investment and products can satisfy demand in Cambodia. Likewise, I hope Cambodian goods can be exported to the Indonesian market,” he said at the Cambodia-Indonesia Business Forum on Tuesday.

Cambodia exports mainly apparel, rubber, and footwear to Indonesia.

Indonesian products that have penetrated the Cambodian market include packaged foods and beverages, home and personal care products, pharmaceuticals, batik products, motorcycles, and some fresh fruits like snake fruit, Mr Dara said.

Seang Thay, spokesman at the Ministry of Commerce, said the government is working to boost bilateral trade with Indonesia.

“Bilateral trade is still small, but we are working to increase it. Trading with Indonesia is harder than with other countries in the region, such as Thailand or Vietnam, because we don’t share a border,” he said.

He said a direct flight between the countries will be established this year, which will facilitate the movement of people and goods and strengthen the trade relation.

“We hope the direct flight will increase the number of tourists and investors coming from Indonesia,” Mr Thay said.

Last year, more than 55,700 Indonesians visited Cambodia while just over 8,800 Cambodians travelled to the island nation.

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