Cambodia, which mainly exports garment and footwear, has noted 18 per cent growth in its overall exports while imports went up 16 per cent in 2016. Garments currently make up roughly 80 per cent of Cambodia’s total exports.
The European Union is Cambodia’s biggest market while its exports to Japan rose 45 per cent and exports to China by 50 per cent. The US presidential race, rising exports from Vietnam and emergence of new market Myanmar resulted in 7 per cent decline in Cambodia’s total exports to the United States to US $ 2.8 billion in 2016 compared to more than US $ 3 billion in 2015.
Cambodian’s garment exports to the US are also facing stiff competition from Vietnam and Myanmar. The wage levels are on par with Cambodia which makes it difficult for the Cambodian exporters to compete in terms of cost.
A majority of exports (approximately 90 per cent) from Cambodia were shipped under GSP and MFN schemes, which allow many Cambodian products to enter markets with reduced tariffs or duty-free.
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Imports from China – the largest supplier of goods to Cambodia – rose 16 per cent last year. Imports from Thailand and Vietnam increased by 22 per cent and 53 per cent.