Cambodia is very open to international trade, which represents nearly 132% of GDP (World Bank, 2023). The country has been a member of ASEAN since 1999 and of the WTO since 2004, and it has committed to removing all tariff barriers on imports from ASEAN members. Cambodia began to reform its legal and regulatory systems (intellectual property rights, health rules, non-tariff barriers to trade, etc.), however, in practice, many obstacles remain, including governance issues and a lack of transparency. Cambodia also suffers from logistical and infrastructural constraints. The country mainly exports gold, clothing, footwear, timber and rubber. Illegal timber trade (especially towards Vietnam) is one of Cambodia's greatest challenges despite an official export ban on timber. Imports are led by Gold (26.1% of imports in 2021), refined petroleum (6.5%) and clothing (6.4%).
The main trading partners are the US (42.6%), China (8.6%), Japan (6.2%) and Canada (5.4%), while the bulk of imports comes from China (33.7%), Singapore (17.8%) and Thailand with 12.1% (Comtrade, 2022). It should be noticed that the European Commission decided to withdraw part of the tariff preferences granted to Cambodia under the "Everything But Arms" (EBA) trade scheme due to the serious and systematic violations of human rights. Such measure came into effect on 12th August 2020 and should affect approximately 20% of Cambodia's exports to the EU, including sugar, selected garment and footwear products, and all travel goods.
Cambodia has a structural trade deficit concerning goods. In 2021, total exports of merchandise amounted to USD 17.36 billion USD, with imports growing at a faster pace, to reach USD 28.36 billion USD. Cambodia is usually a net exporter of services (mainly thanks to the tourism sector), but it is not the case since 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. When computing both goods and services, the country’s trade deficit stood at 132% of GDP in 2021 (up from 124% one year earlier (WTO & World Bank, 2022). Cambodia recorded a trade deficit of 1676 KHR Billion (411.77 million USD) in November of 2022 (National Bank of Cambodia, 2023).
|Foreign Trade Indicators||2017||2018||2019||2020||2021|
|Imports of Goods (million USD)||15,495||17,489||20,279||19,131||28,369|
|Exports of Goods (million USD)||12,089||12,700||14,825||17,215||17,362|
|Imports of Services (million USD)||2,714||3,034||3,238||2,045||2,104|
|Exports of Services (million USD)||4,391||5,249||5,854||1,815||657|
|Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||4||17||11||-9||23|
|Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||5||14||13||-11||13|
|Trade Balance (million USD)||-4,278||-5,844||-7,255||-2,544||-11,257|
|Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)||125||125||124||124||132|
|Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||64||63||62||62||68|
|Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||61||62||61||61||65|
Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.
(% of Exports)
|See More Countries||32.1%|
(% of Imports)
|See More Countries||22.1%|
Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data
|17.6 bn USD of products exported in 2021|
|Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, executive-cases,...Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, executive-cases, briefcases, school satchels, spectacle cases, binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, holsters and similar containers; travelling-bags, insulated food or beverage bags, toilet bags, rucksacks, handbags, shopping-bags, wallets, purses, map-cases, cigarette-cases, tobacco-pouches, tool bags, sports bags, bottle-cases, jewellery boxes, powder-boxes, cutlery cases and similar containers, of leather or of composition leather, of sheeting of plastics, of textile materials, of vulcanised fibre or of paperboard, or wholly or mainly covered with such materials or with paper||8.5%|
|Jerseys, pullovers, cardigans, waistcoats and...Jerseys, pullovers, cardigans, waistcoats and similar articles, knitted or crocheted (excl. wadded waistcoats)||7.7%|
|Women's or girls' suits, ensembles, jackets,...Women's or girls' suits, ensembles, jackets, blazers, dresses, skirts, divided skirts, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts, knitted or crocheted (excl. wind-jackets and similar articles, slips, petticoats and panties, tracksuits, ski suits and swimwear)||6.7%|
|Women's or girls' suits, ensembles, jackets,...Women's or girls' suits, ensembles, jackets, blazers, dresses, skirts, divided skirts, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts (excl. knitted or crocheted, wind-jackets and similar articles, slips, petticoats and panties, tracksuits, ski suits and swimwear)||4.5%|
|T-shirts, singlets and other vests, knitted or...T-shirts, singlets and other vests, knitted or crocheted||4.2%|
|See More Products||68.4%|
|28.7 bn USD of products imported in 2021|
|Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought...Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form||20.7%|
|Fabrics, knitted or crocheted, of a width of > 30...Fabrics, knitted or crocheted, of a width of > 30 cm (excl. warp knit fabrics "incl. those made on galloon knitting machines", those containing by weight >= 5% of elastomeric yarn or rubber thread, and pile fabrics, incl. "long pile", looped pile fabrics, labels, badges and similar articles, and knitted or crocheted fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated)||6.4%|
|Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals||5.6%|
|Knitted or crocheted fabrics, of a width > 30 cm,...Knitted or crocheted fabrics, of a width > 30 cm, containing by weight >= 5% of elastomeric yarn or rubber thread (excl. pile fabrics, incl. "long pile", looped pile fabrics, labels, badges and similar articles, and knitted or crocheted fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated)||3.6%|
|Woven fabrics containing predominantly, but < 85%...Woven fabrics containing predominantly, but < 85% synthetic staple fibres by weight, other than those mixed principally or solely with cotton||2.9%|
|See More Products||60.8%|
Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data
To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows
|6.1 bn USD of services exported in 2019|
|Personal travelPersonal travel||56.16%|
|Business travelBusiness travel||22.26%|
|3.3 bn USD of services imported in 2019|
|Personal travelPersonal travel||25.19%|
|Business travelBusiness travel||2.62%|
Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data
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Latest Update: September 2023