The bilateral trade between Cambodia and Thailand was valued at $5,238 million in the first eight months of this year, inching up 3.14 percent compared with the same period last year.
Figures from Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce showed that from January to August Cambodia exported $623 million worth of products to Thailand, a year-on-year decrease of 31.70 percent.
The country’s imports from Thailand in the period rose by 10.76 percent to $4,614 million.
Agricultural products accounted for the majority of Cambodian exports to Thailand, while Thai exports to Cambodia primarily consisted of energy resources, agriculture fertiliser, food supplies and cosmetics.
Cambodia’s products, mainly agricultural products, exported to Thailand have always been disrupted by the barrier of sanitary and phytosanitary conditions.
In August, Thailand banned exports of Pailin longan fruits from Cambodia in a move like the ban China imposed on Thailand’s export companies of agricultural products to China.
Lim Heng, vice-president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, said yesterday that the improvement of sanitary and phytosanitary conditions need to be addressed.
“Once they banned us from exporting agricultural products to their countries related to sanitary and phytosanitary [conditions], so, in order to reach markets, we need to work and process the sanitary and phytosanitary talks,” he said.
He hoped that more agricultural products would be eligible for exports to China and other destinations.
“When Thailand banned Cambodia from exporting Pailin longans, the ministry of agriculture pushed talks with China and the Chinese government responded positively and immediately. Through the talks, we do hope that Cambodia will soon reach protocol signs on many agricultural products for export,” he said.
The two countries have placed high hopes to continue pushing bilateral trade up to $15 billion by 2023.
Two-way trade between the countries was valued at $7.236 billion last year, down 23 percent from 2019.
Recently, the supermarket chains in Thailand – Big C and retail store 7-Eleven – debuted their stores in Phnom Penh. They also unveiled plans to increase shops in Cambodia.
About 70 percent to 80 percent of products displayed in those markets are imports from Thailand and the rest are supplied locally.
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.