Cambodia spent 554 million U.S. dollars to purchase automobiles and motorcycles from foreign countries in the first nine months of this year, up 85 percent from 299 million U.S. dollars a year earlier, according to the Commerce Ministry Friday.
During the January-September period this year, the country imported 34,534 cars and 261,177 motorcycles, up 88 percent and 130 percent, respectively, from the same period last year, ministry data showed.
Spending on car purchase stood at 290 million U.S. dollars and that on motorcycles reached 264 million U.S. dollars, up 65 percent and 114 percent, respectively, on a yearly basis.
"The sharp rise in vehicle demand clearly reflects people's better living conditions and better economic situation," said Preap Chan Vibol, director of the Transport Department at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
Cambodia's gross domestic product per capita was 1,043 U.S. dollars last year.
The country purchased vehicles mainly from Japan, South Korea, China, the United States and the United Kingdom. Japan-branded vehicles are the most popular ones.
With a population of 14.8 million, Cambodia has more than 410, 000 registered cars, trucks and buses, along with more than 2 million registered motorcycles, according to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.