Trade with Korea drops 22pc in first five months

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Phnom Penh Post
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Nguon Sovan

TRADE volume between Cambodia and South Korea dropped 22.6 percent in the first five months of this year, a sign that the global economic recession continues to grip both countries, a Korean trade official said Monday.

Total volume through May reached US$114 million, down from $147.27 million over the same period last year, said Lee Hyoung-seok, deputy director general of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.

Lee said that South Korea's principal export products to Cambodia included textiles, motor vehicles, consumer electronics and chemical products, while Cambodia's main exports were garments, agricultural products and timber.

"We are seeing a decline in volume because demand has fallen ... [leading] many manufacturers to reduce production," Lee said.

"I forecast that for the rest of the year, bilateral trade will continue to fall at a similar rate, though things may improve next year."

Lee added that trade volume between the two countries reached $294 million last year.

Thon Virak, deputy director of the International Trade Directorate at the Ministry of Commerce, declined to comment Tuesday, saying he did not have bilateral trade figures.

But Kang Chandararot, president of the Cambodia Institute for Development Study, said a stabilising Korean economy may gradually stimulate commerce as the year progressed.

"We may see a slight recovery in trade with Korea by the end of the third quarter because their economy seems to be weathering the crisis better than others," Kang Chandararot said.


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