|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 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.
As the region works to overcome the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) through the GMS Health Security Project is supporting reinforcement of public health security and readiness of health systems in Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Myanmar, and Viet Nam, to face the threats of COVID-19.
A press release from the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance announced plans to improve facilities at border gates with Thailand and Viet Nam.
Cambodia’s border crossing points with Thailand and Vietnam are crowded with traffic of cross-border transport and tourists. The country wants to develop the necessary infrastructure to manage this traffic flow to ease cross-border transport and boost trade activities.
The Economic and Financial Policy Committee, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Aun Pornmoniroth, approved the proposal.
A 190 kilometer expressway project is set to link Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. Cambodia’s Ministry of Public Works and Transportation reports that the project has reached 20% completion since construction began in March 2019.
Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen underscored that construction of the expressway is in line with regional integration in both the ASEAN and the Greater Mekong Subregion, linking regional transport networks from one country to another.
As the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) increases its electricity exports, the country is prioritizing safety improvement of its dams. A committee comprising local and foreign experts will conduct dam safety inspections, according to news by the Laotian Times. The Government is also implementing new safety measures and standards.