Canada now Cambodia’s 9th largest trade partner

Canada is the country’s ninth-largest trading partner, following China, the US, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Germany and Singapore.

Hin Pisei

Hin Pisei

The Phnom Penh Post


Garment workers leave their factory for lunch in the capital’s Tuol Sangke commune in September. PHOTO: THE PHNOM PENH POST

October 30, 2023

PHNOM PENH – Trade between Cambodia and Canada for the first nine months of 2023 reached approximately $700 million, marking a decrease of over 22% from the corresponding period last year, according to the latest figures from the General Department of Customs and Excise’s (GDCE) International Commodity Trade Statistics.

From January to September, total trade volume between the two countries stood at $698.87 million, down 22.4% from $900.91 million during the same period in 2022. This equates to 1.99% of Cambodia’s total international trade for the period, which amounted to $35.16 billion.

Cambodia’s exports to Canada valued $648.77 million, which represents a 25.8% decline. This accounts for nearly 93% of the total trade volume between the two nations during the interval. Imports from Canada rose sharply by 92.4% to a value of $50.1 million.

Currently, Cambodia’s trade surplus stands at $598.66 million.

In September, trade between the two countries totalled $85.96 million, a decrease of 10.92%. Cambodian exports for the month amounted to $77.23 million (down 18.4%), while Canadian imports were valued at $8.74 million (up 377.6%).

GDCE records indicate that Canada is the country’s ninth-largest trading partner, following China, the US, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Germany and Singapore.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sok Chenda Sophea met with the newly appointed Canadian ambassador Ping M Kitnikone on October 25.

Chenda Sophea expressed Cambodia’s readiness to bolster cooperation across various sectors with Canada, in order to serve mutual interests within both bilateral and multilateral frameworks. He also expressed enthusiasm for Canadian businesses, urging investors from Canada to further their ventures in the country to strengthen trade ties.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce’s (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng attributed the downturn in trade to the global economic slowdown.

He told The Post that many international buyers had reduced orders, a trend observed since the latter half of 2022.

“The drop in the Cambodia-Canada trade volume during this time resulted from the global economic crisis. Hence, as economic conditions improve worldwide, we expect Cambodian exports to bounce back,” he stated.

He said the CCC launched a representative office in Toronto to help fortify trade relationships in 2022. The office primarily promotes Cambodian products and aims to attract Canadian investors.

He stated that the majority of Cambodia’s exports to Canada are comprised of garments, travel accessories, footwear, bicycles and electrical and electronic components. The country’s primary imports from Canada include electronics and automobiles.

As of year-end 2021, the National Bank of Cambodia’s (NBC) Foreign Investment Status report ranked Canada as Cambodia’s ninth-largest investor, with a stake of $1.1 billion, 2.8% of Cambodia’s total investment intake of $41 billion. They follow China, Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and the UK in terms of capital commitment.

For reference, in 2022, bilateral trade between the two countries tallied $1.154 billion, marking a 16.1% growth from $994.72 million in 2021. Of that, the Kingdom exported $1.121 billion worth of goods to Canada (an increase of 17.4%), while imports from Canada amounted to $33.88 million (down 15.1%).

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