National Bank of Cambodia reported the economic growth this year supported by a strong performance of exports as well as construction, real estate, and tourism sectors. By contrast, agriculture experiencing a decrease.
In the first half of the year, industry grew by 10.5 percent, while services expanded by 6.6 percent. Agriculture, however, grew by 1.4 percent. The industrial sector’s rose to 36.4 percent, while services contributed 39 percent.
The value of the country’s imports and exports combined reached $17.3 billion in the first six months of the year. Exports were valued at $6.8 billion (48.8 percent of GDP) while imports reached $10.5 billion (73.6 percent of GDP).
Exports expanded by 13 percent in the first half of 2019, compared to 16 percent in the first half of 2018. Cambodia mostly exported travel goods and other textile products, garment and footwear, bicycles, and rice, according to the report.
Cambodia’s major export destinations were the European Union (33.2 percent of all exports), the United States (28 percent), and Japan (7.7 percent).
Cambodia imported mostly from China (46 percent of all imports), Thailand (15.6 percent), Vietnam (13.2 percent), and Japan (4.5 percent), NBC said.
NBC’s director-general, Chea Serey commented that the inflation rate was 1.9 percent in the first half of this year compared to 2.5 percent in the second half of 2018. The exchange rate is at 4,038 riels to a dollar. International reserves have reached $11.1 billion, equivalent to five months of imports and services.
However, Ms Serey further said Cambodia economy still facing several external challenges. The country preferential trade status with the European Union and the United States will be affected in near future, as the country becoming an upper-middle income economy. She emphasized that the government must strive to enter free trade agreements with countries in the region to sustain current economic growth.