Cambodia  

Quick Facts

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.

ADB and Cambodia: Fact Sheet

On the road from Ho Chi Minh, Viet Nam to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Photo by Clay Gilliland/ Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Upgrade for Highway Linking Cambodia and Viet Nam Proposed

A $97.9 million upgrade for Viet Nam’s National Highway 62 has been proposed to Viet Nam's Ministry of Transport. The renovation work will include road repairs and road widening of specific portions from nine to eleven meters to reduce the travel time from Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, to Cambodia. The project is proposed to start in 2021 with scheduled completion by 2023.  

The highway connects Vietnam’s highways No.1, N2 and the HCMC-Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway. All three are major routes run from HCMC on through the Mekong Delta. 

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The border between Aranyaprathet, Sa Kaeo, Thailand and Poipet, Cambodia. Photo by Thanate Tan via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

New Highway Linking Thailand to Cambodia On Track for Completion

Thailand's Department of Highways noted that construction of the new Highway 3646 linking Thailand and Cambodia is already 70% complete. Full completion is expected by next February. Highway 3646 will connect Ban Nong Ian in Sa Kaeo, Aranyaprathet, Thailand, to Banteay Meanchey, Cambodia, via the Thailand-Cambodia Friendship Bridge.

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Cambodian Mango Traders Receive Customs Approval to Export Directly to PRC

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has allowed Cambodia to export fresh mangoes directly to its market after the PRC’s General Administration of Customs (GACC) certified 37 mango plantations and five packaging factories as compliant with phytosanitary and packaging standards on 26 April. GACC experts from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region held a virtual inspection of mango plantations and steam treatments plants on 10 March.  

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Representative image only. Photo by ADB.

Cambodia Seeks Further ADB Support to Boost Cross-border Facilities

Mr. Sun Chanthol, Cambodia Senior Minister and Minister of Public Works and Transport, has requested the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for further support for the development of Cambodia's cross-border facilities. Cambodia aims to ease logistics and boost transportation to expand within the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and the ASEAN region.  

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Cambodia, Lao PDR, Viet Nam Leaders Vow to Boost Cooperation against COVID-19 and Strengthen Trade

Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen, Lao PDR Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, and Viet Nam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc held a virtual discussion on 10 March 2021. They lauded their growing relationship and agreed to further strengthen their cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 and in other sectors, including connectivity, energy, and trade and investment.  

Lao PDR expressed appreciation for Cambodia’s medical supply donation to help them combat COVID-19.  

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A garment industry worker at a regional training center in the Siem Reap city, Siem Reap province.

Industry 4.0 Could Have Transformational Impact on Skills and Jobs in Cambodia — ADB Study

Cambodia should consider developing industry transformation maps in key sectors to enable the transition to the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) with adequate investment in skills development for new and repositioned jobs, according to a new study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

News Releases

The Joint Declaration adopted at the 11th CLV Summit provides a foundation for the socio-economic development plan until 2030. Photo by VNA.

11th CLV Summit Commits to Strengthen Development Triangle Area

Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam (CLV) Leaders expressed their firm commitment to strengthen the CLV Development Triangle Area (DTA) in order to accelerate economic growth, alleviate poverty, and promote socio-cultural progress in the subregion. At the 11th CLV Summit held online on 9 December, they adopted a Joint Declaration that provides a foundation for the subregion’s socio-economic development plan until 2030 and the Tourism Development Plan. They also adopted the Development Plan for Sustainable Rubber Industry.  

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Cambodia Approves Two 500 kV Transmission Line Projects

The Government of Cambodia’s Council of Ministers approved two 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission line investment projects in (i) Phnom Penh to the Cambodia-Lao PDR border, and (ii) Battambang to the Cambodia-Thailand border, to prepare to import electricity from its neighbors. The Government of Cambodia is working on increasing the country’s electricity capacity to improve production and competitiveness.

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The 9th ACMECS Summit Declaration emphasized post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and preparation for future crises. Photo by OCM.

9th ACMECS Summit Declaration Focuses on Post-pandemic Recovery

Leaders of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam adopted the Phnom Penh declaration at the 9th Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) Summit held on 9 December. The declaration emphasizes post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and preparation for future crises and challenges through public health cooperation and enhanced supply chains. ACMECS leaders stressed the importance of vaccine multilateralism to ensure equitable and safe access to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines. 

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