Cambodia exported almost half a million bicycles at a value of about US$119 million in the first quarter of 2020. This represents more than US$10 million over the same period in 2019.
Cambodia’s light manufacturing assembly sector, located primarily but not exclusively in special economic zones, covers principally labour intensive operations which include bicycle manufacturing.
In 2017, Cambodia became the largest bicycle supplier to the European Union (EU). There are a number of bicycle manufacturers in Cambodia, from Taiwan and the USA (Trek Bicycle, Ken International, Atlantic Cycle, Smart Tech, Worldtec Cycles).
Since 2016, the number of Cambodian exported bicycles to the European Union are:
- 1.29 million bicycles in 2016.
- 1.42 million bicycles in 2017.
- 1.52 million bicycles in 2018 (worth US$331 million).
In 2019, the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce said bicycles manufactured in the Kingdom of Cambodia would need to comprise of a minimum of 40 per cent local components to qualify for duty-free status in the EU.
It is expected the European Union Commission announcement of the partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme for Cambodia will effect bicycle exports in the future. This will take effect on August 12 2020.
Currently, the Cambodian bicycle exports have some protections with duty-free export status under the EBA. This exempts the bicycle manufacturer shipments from the EU’s 14% import duty, but they do still pay duties of 6% for electric bicycles.
The Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng said “Bicycle exports will continue to increase in the second quarter (2020), buoyed by a heightened aversion to public transport. Cycling as a workout option is also not likely to decline anytime soon.”
Cambodian bicycle exports to the EU market is the third most important product of Cambodia after garments and footwear.