Vietnam: Cambodia’s Largest ASEAN Trading Partner

Vietnam is the largest ASEAN trading partner of Cambodia for importing and exporting of different products.

This year, Cambodia names Vietnam as its largest trading partner among the members of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Both countries made a bilateral trade at nearly 50% in the first five months. The trade reached $2.8 billion, which rose almost 3% from a year earlier.

Growth of Cambodia’s Exports to Vietnam

According to the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia exported around $1.3 billion worth of products and imported goods with a total of $1.5 billion from Vietnam. Aside from having the biggest positive trade growth in ASEAN, it ranked third among Cambodia’s trading partners, following China and the US.

The progress in Cambodia’s export to Vietnam is due to higher shipments of farm produce from increased harvests. The former country’s major exports include cashew nuts, corn, tobacco, cassava, rice, natural resources, and rubber. On the other hand, Vietnam’s exports to Cambodia include seasonings, machinery, electrical and electronic devices, fuel, fruits and vegetables, machinery, and construction materials.

Trade turnover between the two Asian countries rose continuously in recent years. It has a yearly average of 18.5% from 2010 to 2015 and over 21% from 2015 to 2020.

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam became one of Cambodia’s top three trading partners. Its bilateral trade surged more than 79% from 2020 to $9.54 billion in 2021. Last year, the figure climbed to $10.57 billion, almost 11% from the previous year.

Rice Market Diversification

Even if Vietnamese rice was exported to 150 countries and territories, product markets are chiefly Asian countries and need diversification. The Asian region became Vietnam’s largest market for rice, which consumes more than 60% of the country’s total exported volume.  It’s followed by Africa (22%), America (8%), Europe (5%), and other regions (5%).

Vietnam exported 4.27 million tonnes of rice worth $2.3 billion during the first six months of 2023. It’s up by 22% in volume and 34.7% in value over the same period in 2022. These are the highest growth rates with regard to the rice sector in the previous decade. For this year, the rice export volume is predicted to dwell at a similar volume as in 2022 when 7.35 million tonnes of rice went to export overseas.

Likewise, the US Department of Agriculture projected that rice export will go beyond 7 million tonnes this year. The volume will likely increase due to the skyrocketing demands in Asian markets. This trend will make Vietnam the third exporter of rice worldwide following India and Thailand.

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