|Population||16 million (2017)|
|GDP at PPP (current international dollars)||64 billion (2017)|
|GDP per capita at PPP (current international dollars)||4,002 (2017)|
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Cambodia has made major advances in agriculture through increased productivity, and the diversification and commercialization of key crops. Cambodia has stimulated the growth of competitive farms and rural enterprises, connected rural areas to markets, and created more jobs. Other agriculture projects include the building of sustainable rural infrastructure, such as irrigation systems, and promoting productivity, competitiveness, and climate change resilience.
Cambodia is also working to provide an adequate supply of energy throughout the country at an affordable price. This is designed to bring the economic benefits of a reliable energy supply to people in rural areas, while at the same time encouraging investment, and building the national economy. In coordination with its GMS partners, Cambodia is exploring sustainable options for the exploration and development of its energy resources, while at the same time taking a leadership role in green growth initiatives.
Cambodia has one of the world’s most spectacular environments. With rich diversity in species and ecosystems, Cambodia’s forests, wetlands and coastlines are among the best preserved in Asia. Cambodians have recognized this environmental treasure, and are working to better manage rapid economic growth with sustainable environmental practices. This includes protecting vital water resources, such as Cambodia’s great lake – the Tonle Sap – and working to control floods that particularly hurt the poor and vulnerable.
Like other GMS countries, Cambodia needs to develop its human resources in order to sustain economic growth, create more jobs, and further reduce poverty. With the support of its partners, Cambodia is working to educate and train its people to be globally competitive. The country has seen an increase in overall student enrolment, an improved curriculum, and a greater focus on vocational training and career orientation. There has been a particular focus the training of health professionals, and the protection of Cambodian workers migrating to nearby countries.
The number of fixed and mobile telecommunications users is rapidly expanding in Cambodia, as is Internet usage. The government has worked, in coordination with its GMS partners, to improve the policy and regulatory environment for telecommunications. With cross-border connections to Thailand, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam, Cambodians are becoming increasingly connected to their GMS neighbors. This has spurred economic activity, and greater access to global and regional knowledge resources.
Tourism in Cambodia has skyrocketed in recent years, with visitors – many from neighboring GMS countries – touring ancient Khmer sites, such as Angkor Wat. In addition to the lively capital of Phnom Penh, visitors are exploring the picturesque Tonle Sap Lake, the majestic Mekong River, the unspoiled Cardamom Mountains, and the alluring southern coasts near Sihanoukville. The country is working with its GMS partners to develop a sustainable tourism sector that reduces poverty and protects natural resources and culture. Projects are underway to develop human resources that serve the tourism sector, and build tourist-related infrastructure.
Cambodia is encouraging trade and investment by working to develop a strong private sector that supports both small enterprises and large corporations. The country also recognizes the importance of microfinance for the poor. Cambodia is working to strengthen the regulatory regime governing financial institutions and promote private sector involvement in regional integration. Cambodia’s fast-growing economy still needs more modern financial infrastructure, including effective bank and insurance regulations.
In the area of transport, Cambodia has benefited from the development of the Southern Economic Corridor: a package of diverse investments along three major subregional routes – one cutting across northern Cambodia including Siem Reap, another running along the western coast, and the third a modern highway that links Phnom Penh, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City. These vital thoroughfares have spurred economic growth in communities all along the corridors, and beyond. Cambodia is also working to upgrade its national highway system, particularly roads that link rural areas to cities. The country’s airports and rail system have also been improved, and are slated for further upgrades.
Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Myanmar, and Viet Nam (CLMV) economic ministers endorsed the CLMV Action Plan 2021-2022 focusing on (i) trade and investment cooperation, (ii) implementation of regional commitments, (iii) pandemic recovery plan, (iv) Framework for CLMV Development, and (v) human resource development.
The Mekong River Commission Joint Committee called on Lao PDR to address comments and recommendations from Cambodia, Thailand, and Viet Nam for the 1,460-megawatt Luang Prabang hydropower project.
In immediate response to global efforts to combat the pandemic, the Health Sector Group of the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Sustainable Development and Climate Change (SDCC) Department mobilized funding for Technical Assistance (TA) on Regional Support to Address the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the amount of $48.3 million in early 2020.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved on 8 July 2020 a $250 million loan to help the Government of Cambodia respond to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic by strengthening the country’s health care system, increasing social assistance to the poor and vulnerable, and providing economic stimulus to businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises.
The Mekong River Commission (MRC) Joint Committee endorsed ad-referendum the 10-year Basin Development Strategy. The Strategy aims to guide Mekong River Basin stakeholders in addressing environmental, social, and economic issues arising from climate change, water resource development projects, and population increase. Its endorsement paves the way for a final consideration and approval by the MRC’s council of ministers.
Cambodia and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) signed the Protocol of Phytosanitary Requirements for Fresh Mango Export on 9 June 2020. This will allow Cambodia and the PRC to work together on the phytosanitary practices of Cambodia’s mango farms to increase Cambodia’s mango export to the PRC. Cambodia can export up to 500,000 tons of high quality mangoes to the PRC per year, according to the Embassy of the PRC.
The Government of Myanmar released a Strategic Roadmap for Tourism Recovery that aims to establish ‘new normal’ conditions to help tourism make a comeback.
Mr. Ohn Maung, Union Minister of Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, provided guidelines for implementation of the plan. It includes three phases:
‘Travel bubbles’ are being considered by Southeast Asian countries, including Myanmar and Thailand, as a means to safely resume travel activities. Members of the Mekong Tourism Advisory Group recommended creating travel bubbles to kickstart regional tourism in the absence of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine in their meeting in May.
Cambodia and Viet Nam will continue to work together to ensure bilateral trade continues amidst border control measures implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the two countries have enforced stricter travel restrictions to tourists passing through their borders, Cambodia and Viet Nam remain open to the exchange of goods.
A 10-year-plan of the Government of Cambodia will put off development of new hydropower dams on the Mekong River in 2020–2030. The Cambodian government will review a policy to seek energy from coal, natural gas, and solar, as well as energy imports, according to a Reuters report.