Vietnam-Cambodia Trade Up by 130 Percent

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May 11 – Trade between Vietnam and Cambodia jumped 130 percent in the first four months of the year, reaching US$432 million.

The two nations set a goal to bring in US$2 billion worth of bilateral trade for 2010. Last year, trade amounted to US$1.33 billion, a decrease of 19 percent compared to the previous year due to the global financial crisis.

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Due to its proximity, Vietnam is Cambodia’s third largest export market after Thailand and China while Cambodia is the 16th biggest export market for Vietnamese products. Trade is conducted in Vietnam’s ten border gates, primarily in An Giang and Tay Ninh Province. At the border gates are economic zones that impose import and export taxes for all goods entering and leaving Vietnam.

Vietnam’s major export to Cambodia include vegetables, fruit, plastic products, home utensils, construction materials, fertilizers and farming machines while Cambodia sells primarily wood, rubber, cashew nuts, maize and cassava to Vietnam.

Cambodia is currently the 16th biggest overseas market for Vietnamese goods while Vietnam is the third largest buyer for Cambodian exports, behind Thailand and China.

Vietnam enjoys a trade surplus over Cambodia. Major exports from Vietnam include textiles and garments, plastics, computers, electronics and components, vegetables and fruits, seafood and electrical home appliances. Imports from Cambodia include tobacco materials, rubber, wood products and cloth.

The report said border-trade between the two countries has risen by 30 per cent annually during the past five years. Trade between the two countries operates through border gates in ten Vietnamese border provinces. Up to 95 per cent of that trade is conducted in the provinces of An Giang and Tay Ninh. In 2006, trade in the Mekong province of An Giang amounted to US$600 million, accounting for 87 per cent of border trade between Vietnam and Cambodia.

The 10 Vietnamese provinces bordering Cambodia have eight border economic zones that cover 6,677sq.m, representing 2.7 per cent of the total area of these provinces. These border economic zones contribute 34 per cent of the total import taxes and 10.2 per cent of total export taxes of the 23 border economic zones across the country.