Cambodia's exports to the United States, the Kingdom’s largest market, were valued at $695 million for the first three months this year, a rise of only 0.2 per cent from $693.3 million in the corresponding period last year, according to statistics from the US Department of Commerce.
Experts attributed the slow growth in exports to the gradual recovery of the US economy as well as Cambodian efforts to focus on other international export markets.
“Even though the US economy is recovering, it is still slow,” said Doung Poullang, senior economics officer at the Asian Development Bank.
“Also, the slow increase of consumer demand makes the volume of exports to the US grow slowly.”
He added that Cambodia is attempting to diversify its export destinations instead of relying largely on the US market as it had in the past.
The Kingdom’s exports to European and Asian markets such as China and Japan are on the rise, he said.
Cambodia sold mainly garments, textiles and footwear, milled rice and agricultural products to the US this year, according to data from the US embassy in Cambodia.
Data from the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) shows that the Kingdom exported about 27.5 per cent fewer garment products to the US market, a decline from $501 million in the first three months of 2012 to $363 million in the same period this year.
“The major reason behind the decrease of exports is because we have got less orders from the US market,” Ken Loo, GMAC secretary general, told the Post yesterday.
In 2012, Cambodia exported goods worth about $2 billion to the US market, which totalled 36 per cent of the Kingdom’s export market value of $5.5 billion, figures from the Ministry of Economy and Finance show.
The bilateral trade volume between Cambodia and the US reached $758.3 million in the first quarter of this year, a slight rise of 0.8 per cent
compared with $752.4 million in the corresponding period last year.
The total volume of Cambodia’s exports reached over $1.65 billion in the first three-month period of this year, a jump of 21 per cent from the goods exported during the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Commerce’s export data.