Cambodia garnered nearly $890 million from exporting furniture, bedding, mattresses and related stuffed furnishings in 2023, representing a modest decline from the previous year.

However, in the final month of 2023, there was a notable increase of almost 35%, as reported by the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE).

The country’s earnings from the aforementioned exports, categorised under Harmonised System (HS) Code 94, totalled $889.62 million in 2023, a decrease of 6.2% from the $948.26 million recorded in 2022. 

The exports accounted for 3.9% of the country’s total international exports in 2023, which amounted to $22.64 billion.

In December 2023, the export value of Code 94 items was $59.93 million, marking a significant 34.7% increase from $44.49 million in the same month of 2022.

Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told The Post on February 11 that the global economic crisis over the past three to four years has led to a decline in international trade across nearly every sector. 

He expressed optimism that the situation would improve with the resolution of geopolitical conflicts and armed disputes.

Vanak noted that production chain capacity continues to progress steadily, and the country is evolving into a hub for producing a more diverse range of goods. 

“Of course, the export value to international markets had been steadily declining since the second half of 2022, but it has gradually begun to recover from the end of 2023. With the recent recovery, I am confident that exports of these products will be positive in 2024, while the volume of buyer’s stockpiled goods is also declining,” he explained.

He added that the activation of bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements (FTAs), which have been established with many countries, will expand Cambodia’s export market as the world economy recovers.

Lim Heng, vice-president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC), attributed the export decline in 2023 to sluggish global economic growth. However, he noted a recent uptick in import-export activities. 

Heng highlighted that many new companies are establishing businesses and factories in the country. 

“As the global economy recovers, demand for these products will rebound, so orders will increase,” he added.