Cambodia's trade with RCEP countries up 7 pct in first 11 months last year

Garment workers make clothes at a factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Dec. 17, 2021. Photo by Xinhua/Wu Changwei

PHNOM PENH -- Cambodia's trade with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) member countries reached 28.4 billion U.S. dollars in the first 11 months of 2022, a year-on-year increase of 7 percent, the Ministry of Commerce's latest report showed on Tuesday.

The report said the kingdom's export to the RCEP member countries was valued at 5.67 billion U.S. dollars during the January-November period last year, up 5 percent, while its import from the RCEP member countries totaled 22.73 billion dollars, up 7 percent.

The Southeast Asian kingdom's top five trading partners under the RCEP are China, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Japan, the report added.

Entered into force on Jan. 1, 2022, the RCEP free trade agreement comprises 15 Asia-Pacific countries including 10 ASEAN member states -- Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam -- and their five trading partners of China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

"The RCEP is a catalyst for our long-term and sustainable trade growth and it is a magnet to attract more foreign direct investments to our country," said Cambodian Ministry of Commerce's Undersecretary of State and Spokesman Penn Sovicheat.

The official said the world's largest free trade pact would help Cambodia to graduate from its least developed country (LDC) status likely by 2028 and to achieve its goals of becoming an upper-middle income country in 2030.

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