Nearly 10 Vietnamese businesses and around 140 foreign and Cambodian companies are showcasing their products at a Cambodian import export goods fair in Phnom Penh.

On display at the fair– the fourth of its kind in Cambodia– are textiles and apparels, pharmaceuticals, farm and handicraft products, consumer goods, jewellery, finance and banking, tourism and education services.

Speaking at the opening of the four-day fair that lasts until Dec. 18 was Cambodian Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh who emphasised that the Cambodian Government considers trade as a top priority in its efforts to get out of the current economic crisis.

This year’s fair is an important event to introduce products, exchange information between manufacturers and consumers, and seek markets for local products, Cham Prasidh said.

Encouraging domestic consumption and promoting foreign investment in production have become pressing issues for the Cambodian Government, he said.

Trade values between Cambodian and its neighbouring countries are on the decrease.

According to statistics of the Vietnamese Trade Commission in Cambodia , two-way trade between Vietnam and Cambodia reached only 1.05 billion USD by the end of October 2009, a year-on-year drop of 28 percent, with Vietnam ’s exports to Cambodia valued at 907 million USD.

It is estimated that the figure will continue to fall in the fourth quarter of the year with Vietnam’s exports to Cambodia decreasing by 16 percent and its imports from Cambodia by 7 percent.

Meanwhile, the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce said that two-way trade between Cambodia and Thailand fell by 27 percent in the first 10 months of the year./.