Two-way trade between the south-east Asian neighbours stood at 1.175 billion dollars, statistics released by the Vietnamese embassy in Phnom Penh revealed. Vietnamese exports to Cambodia made up the lion's share, worth 1.017 billion dollars.

The commercial attache at the Vietnamese embassy told the Cambodia Daily newspaper that trade would likely double between the two nations this year. That echoed earlier comments made by Cambodia's commerce minister.

"The economic (ties) between Vietnam and Cambodia in investment and trade are growing," said the embassy's Le Bien Cuong, predicting improved figures in a number of areas particularly commodities and construction materials.

Vietnam, a close political ally, is also a key investor in Cambodia with significant interests in agribusiness, telecoms and banking. Last month the two nations signed an agreement that could result in investments worth billions of dollars, including one for a bauxite mining concession.

Exports of fuel and steel products totalling 560 million dollars made up more than half of Vietnam's exports to Cambodia. Bilateral trade stood at 1.64 billion dollars in 2008, up from 1.2 billion dollars the previous year.

Deutsche Presse Agentur - January 7, 2010