Cambodia on middle path between China and Vietnam

Cambodia’s trade is booming with both China and Vietnam as the rival powers compete for geo-economic influence.

In 2021, Cambodia’s trade with neighboring Vietnam rose 75% to US$9.3 billion, a little less than $2 billion away from the volume of trade between Cambodia and China.

Vietnamese foreign minister Bui Thanh Son, who visited Phnom Penh in February, reckons bilateral trade could top the $10 billion mark in 2022, which seems a feasible objective. Last December, several important bilateral trade and cooperation agreements were signed during a visit from Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Vietnam’s president.

Cambodia’s trade with Vietnam was worth only $3.8 billion in 2017, meaning a 144% increase has been seen over the past five years. By comparison, Cambodia’s trade with China was worth $11.1 billion in 2021, up 91% from $5.8 billion in 2017.

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