PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh Post/Asia News Network): Trade between Cambodia and Japan reached US$1.5094 billion in the first eight months of 2021, up 11.8 per cent year-on-year from $1.350 billion, according to data from the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro).
Of that, Cambodian exports to Japan amounted to $1.12423 billion, surging by more than seven per cent year-on-year from $1.04898 billion, and imports were valued at $385.14 million, climbing by 28.0 per cent on a yearly basis from $300.9 million, Jetro reported.
These statistics imply that the trade surplus narrowed by 1.2 per cent to $739.1 million in January-August, from $748 million in the same period of 2020.
Jetro listed garments, and electrical and electronic components as key Cambodian exports to Japan; and machinery, electronics and high-tech products as the main imports.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng noted that, even as the global Covid-19 crisis wears on, imports and exports between the two countries have begun witnessing a gradual increase, following a year riddled with simultaneous drops.
He chalked up the import and export figures recorded since the beginning of 2021 as promising signs for the overall state of Cambodia-Japan trade relations, which he said would gain a burst of momentum once direct flights between the two countries resume.
“After establishing a free trade agreement [FTA] with China and [South] Korea, I expect that Cambodia will also be able to reach an FTA with Japan. Once this deal is in place, exports and imports between the two countries will surely grow even faster than at present,” Heng told The Post.
On the other hand, he brushed off the surge in Japanese imports into Cambodiaas a necessary ingredient for increased domestic production.
Heng noted that these imports were predominantly machinery and electronic devices, a considerable share of which are used in production chains that pump out merchandise destined for overseas markets.
Bilateral trade between Cambodia and Japan clocked in at $2.10178 billion last year, down by 8.35 per cent from 2019, Jetro data show.
Cambodian exports were to the tune of $1.61708 billion in 2020, dipping by 6.6 per cent year-on-year, and imports were $484.70 million, sliding by 13.8 per cent year-on-year. Cambodia’s trade surplus with Japan was $1.1324 billion.