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

Second Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Project in Cambodia. Photo by ADB

$180 Million ADB Loan to Improve Urban Services in Cambodia

 The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $180 million loan to help three cities in Cambodia improve urban infrastructure and boost economic competitiveness.  

The Livable Cities Investment Project will help more than 140,000 residents in Bavet, Kampot, and Poipet access better wastewater and solid waste management services. It will help the cities reduce flooding by upgrading their urban stormwater and drainage systems. The project also aims to strengthen the capacity of municipal governments to deliver urban services.

GMS in the News

Workers take a ride on a truck after their shift at a factory in Cambodia. Photo by ADB.

$82 Million ADB Loan to Improve Cambodian Roads, Support GMS Economic Corridors

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved an $82 million loan to improve about 48 kilometers of national and provincial roads in Prey Veng and Kandal to boost economic development along the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Southern Economic Corridor.

GMS in the News

ADB-supported Event Promotes Cross-border Trade between India and GMS Countries

Trade promotion agencies of Cambodia, India, Thailand, and Viet Nam held an event promoting cross-border trade connectivity between India and countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) on 19 August. Representatives from each country gave briefings on their business environment and exchanged experiences in facilitating trade and investment cooperation. Noting challenges caused by COVID-19, they urged governments to take measures to help their small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) move beyond national borders and expand markets.

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14th Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Proposes Joint Working Group on Economic Recovery

The 14th Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held on 6 August 2021 chaired by Mr. Motegi Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and attended by Foreign Ministers of the Mekong subregion. The meeting underscored that Japan will (i) continuously support mutual development through the Mekong-Japan cooperation framework, and (ii) help Mekong countries overcome the fight against COVID-19.

GMS in the News

Meeting photo via Khmer Times

11th Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Plans Post-Pandemic Knowledge Sharing

The 11th Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held on 21 July 2021, co-chaired by Mr. Prak Sokhonn, Cambodia Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India Minister of External Affairs. The meeting noted the progress in the MGC Plan of Action 2019-2022 implementation.

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Cambodia Donates Medical Supplies to Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, a COVID-19 hotspot in Viet Nam, received medical supplies from the Government of Cambodia to help them overcome the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The shipment, which arrived on 19 July, comprises of 1 million medical face masks, 100,000 N95 face masks, 100 five-liter oxygen generators and cash worth $200,000. Writing to Prime Minister Hun Sen, Viet Nam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh expressed his gratitude for the assistance, and emphasized that the donation is evidence of close friendship, solidarity and noble tradition of mutual support between the two nations

GMS in the News

Meeting photo via Viet Nam Plus

Second Mekong-U.S. Partnership Ministerial Meeting Underscores U.S. Commitment to the Subregion

The second Mekong-U.S. Partnership Ministerial Meeting held on 2 August 2021 unveiled four flagship projects under the Mekong-U.S. Partnership, and noted the 8.5 million vaccine doses and over $58 million in U.S. COVID-19 assistance to the Mekong subregion countries.

GMS in the News

ADB Boosts Climate Resilience in Health Systems of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Viet Nam

A six-year, pioneering regional technical assistance initiative has boosted the capacity of health systems in Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), and Viet Nam to respond to climate-induced health threats amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced today.

GMS in the News