Bilateral trade between Cambodia and Hong Kong rose more than 22 per cent year-on-year in 2011, according to data from the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, whose regional base is in Hanoi.
Total trade was US$741 million, compared with $607 million in 2010. Cambodia’s exports to Hong Kong grew more than 90 per cent to $42 million, from $22 million two years ago, and imports from Hong Kong grew 20 per cent to $698 million.
Experts say this growth has been caused by the improving state of the economies of both countries. “Because our economy is improving, we can produce more to export,” Ministry of Commerce director-general Sok Sopheak said.
He said trade with Hong Kong was often cheaper than with other ASEAN countries as Hong Kong did not impose high taxes on imports. Improvements in Cambodia’s garment and textile industries had brought more investment from Hong Kong as well, Cambodia Chamber of Commerce director-general Nguon Meng Tech said. “After setting up garment factories here, they can enjoy duty-free benefits from our export markets,” he said.
Rising labor costs in China had also contributed to Cambodia’s economic growth and increased bilateral trade, Business Research Institute for Cambodia CEO Hiroshi Suzuki said.
“With recent wage increases in China, many factories have shifted production to countries like Cambodia. Because of these developments, it follows that trade between the two countries will increase,” Suzuki said.
Following this trend, increased foreign investment and trade could also come from mainland China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand, he added. “I hope the Cambodian government and private sector can grasp this big investment-shift opportunity.”