Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cambodia trade with S Korea drops 22% in first 5 months

PHNOM PENH, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- 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 crisis continues to grip both countries, local media reported on Wednesday.

Total volume through May reached 114 million U.S. dollars, down from 147.27 million U.S. dollars over the same period last year, the Phnom Penh Post quoted Lee Hyoung-seok, deputy director general of the South Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, as saying.

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, adding "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 U.S. dollars last year.

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

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

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