Trade volume between Cambodia and the other 14 members of the Regional Economic Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) reached $31.03 billion last year, up 4% from 2021, according to Ministry of Commerce data.
The RCEP is the world’s largest free trade agreement (FTA), with 10 ASEAN countries – Cambodia, Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – and five Asia-Pacific countries. increase. Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea.
The agreement entered into force in 10 out of 15 countries, including Cambodia, on January 1, 2022, and has since entered into force in all signatories except Myanmar and the Philippines.
According to figures released by the Ministry of Commerce, in 2022, Cambodia’s imports and exports to the other 14 RCEP member countries will amount to $6.344 billion and $24.687 billion, respectively, up 7% and 3% on an annual basis. showing an increase.
By comparison, according to General Department of Customs data, Cambodia’s imports and exports to the top nine RCEP trading partners will reach $6.268 billion and $24.361 billion respectively in 2022, up 6.93% and 2.62% year-on-year. increased.
These trading partners, in descending order of trade volume, are Mainland China, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia and Australia.
Undersecretary of Commerce and spokesman Peng Sovichet said the number of exporters using the RCEP or Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA), which also entered into force on 1 January 2022, recorded a significant increase in the second half of the year. commented. last year’s.
This was evidenced by the corresponding increase in requests for certificates of origin, he said.
Sovicheat confirmed that the ministry has released a material for exporters comparing FTA and non-FTA tariff levels. Details of sanitary, phytosanitary, rules of origin and other technical requirements. And we outline how to get the most value out of these trade deals.
One year into force, the RCEP has been hailed by analysts and the local business community for its role in promoting production and trade, attracting investors, and general economic development.
Chea Chandara, chairman of the Cambodia Logistics and Supply Chain Business Association, welcomed the increase in export flows between RCEP member countries, although a larger portion of Cambodia’s exports may benefit from the agreement’s concessions. I think there is
“Since Cambodia is a major producer of agricultural products, promoting the processing of agricultural products for export under the agreement will undoubtedly improve economic growth,” he said.
Hong Vanak, head of international economic affairs at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the RCEP had stimulated investment and export growth and was Cambodia’s main economic engine, but the country’s trade deficit and the rest of the bloc’s highlighted part. By 2022, it will grow to more than $18.34 billion.
“On the other hand, Cambodia is indeed a developing country, with high demand for various raw materials that factories and companies use for processing and construction.
“In a free market regime, there are no limits on the volume of imports and exports so that member countries can produce to meet the needs of high-demand countries and to improve their exports,” he said.
He suggested that the local business community should be more aware of the kingdom’s strengths, such as agriculture, in order to boost Cambodia’s exports that benefit from RCEP or similar agreements.
He called for strengthening Cambodia’s agricultural potential and increasing exports of more value-added products in order to generate more income from international markets.