Forty four per cent of Cambodians perceive China as their most valuable partner in trade, infrastructure, economy and public services, says a survey by German political think tank Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and data consulting firm Kantar. Thirty eight per cent of respondents perceive Japan as the best partner, while a quarter view the United States to be in the same position.
China was also viewed as Cambodia’s best partner for trade (46 per cent), followed by Thailand (38 per cent), the US (25 per cent) and Vietnam (25 per cent). Only 39 per cent of female respondents viewed China as a good trade partner, whereas 53 percent of males believed China was a good trade partner.
The study found 67 per cent of Cambodians harbour a favourable view of the European Union (EU) as an international partner. However, most Cambodians are not aware about the partial withdrawal of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) trade scheme.
“Concerningly, an estimated two million Cambodians depend on the textile industry, yet less than half of all respondents (43 per cent) had heard off the EBA, with even fewer understandings its meaning (16 per cent),” the report said.
The survey polled 1,015 respondents from Svay Rieng, Ratanakiri, Kampong Thom and Koh Kong provinces as well as Phnom Penh.
The study suggested that these perceptions were likely shaped by aid contributions. China provides the most foreign aid to Cambodia, followed by Japan and the US.
Cambodia’s exports grew by 630 per cent from 2008 to 2020.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)