Cambodia and the United Kingdom enjoy a thriving trade relation driven by increasing demand for Cambodian products in the UK, the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce said.
Bilateral trade increased from $500 million in 2012 to over $1 billion in 2018, Acting Minister of Commerce Kem Sithan revealed on Tuesday during a meeting in Phnom Penh with UK’s Air Vice-Marshal John Philliban.
Mr Sithan asked the UK to continue supporting Cambodian products.
Ministry spokesman Seang Thay told Khmer Times that trade will continue to increase in the near future.
He said Cambodia exported about $500 million worth of goods to the UK in the first six months of 2018. Imports from the UK during the same period were valued at $22 million, he said.
With Brexit looming, the two countries are now striving to redefine their trade relation, he said.
“I don’t know the effect Brexit will have on Cambodian-UK trade, but I hope it is not significant because our relation with the UK is improving every year,” he said.
Cambodia has already started bilateral negotiations with the UK, according to Mr Thay.
“When the UK leaves the EU, the EBA (Everything-but-arms scheme) will no longer apply, but the UK will continue providing preferential access to Cambodia,” Mr Thay said.
“The UK is a developed country, and under WTO rules, 97 to 98 percent of exports should be duty-free.”
Cambodia mainly exports garment and footwear, milled rice, and bicycles to the UK.
In 2017 bilateral trade increased by 5 percent, reaching $1.4 billion. Cambodia exported $1.14 billion worth of goods to the UK.