Bilateral Trade With Malaysia Up 17.6 Percent

Bilateral trade between Cambodia and Malaysia increased during the first quarter this year by 17.6 percent compared to the same period last year, a Malaysian official said Tuesday.

Trade increased from $89.63 million to $105.4 million, Rasazlan Abdul Rashid, the Malaysian ambassador to Cambodia, told a crowd of about 150 people at the opening ceremony for a trade exhibition in Phnom Penh.

“Malaysia has exported beverages and tobacco, transportation equipment, processed food, chemicals and chemical products and machinery, appliances and parts,” Mr. Rashid said. “Cambodia has exported crude rubber, textile and clothing, cereal, chemicals and chemical products and palm oil.”

He said that in 2013, Malaysia’s export to Cambodia was valued at $235 million, while Cambodia’s exports to Malaysia were valued at $193.71 million, a 489 percent increase from $32.87 million in 2010.

Raja Badrulnizam, a director at Malaysia External Trade Development Corp., said non-tariff barriers, infrastructure, skilled labor and investment rules and regulations are among the main challenges that should be addressed in order to increase the bilateral trade volume further.

“Both countries should make more promotional efforts like this trade fair, attract more investors by improving investment rules and regulations, setting up more incentive policies and removing trade barriers,” he said.

Nguon Meng Tech, director-general of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, said the two countries still had plenty of work to do in strengthening economic cooperation.

“Even with constant increase[s] year on year, this figure is still relatively small compared to other countries like Thailand, Vietnam and China,” he said.

“I think there is still a lot of room for improvement.”

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