Cambodia is a developing market economy with a very open investment policy and real opportunities for creative entrepreneurs and dynamic businesses. It has experienced a 7% annual growth rate for the last five years. It benefits from its close proximity to bordering high growth economies such as Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. Recently, Cambodia has become a lower-middle income country and is estimated to become upper-middle income by 2030.
- Head of State: His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni
- Prime minister: Hun Sen
- Capital city: Phnom Penh
- Total population: 15, 908, 829
- Languages: Khmer, French, English (English is the language of business)
- Religions: Buddhist 96.4%, Muslim 2.1%, Other 1.3%, Unspecified 0.2%
- Monetary unit: Riel (KHR), although this is a dollarised economy.
- Natural resources: Oil and gas, timber, gemstones, iron ore, manganese, phosphates, hydropower potential
- Major exports: Clothing, timber, rubber, rice, fish, tobacco, footwear
- Major imports: Petroleum products, cigarettes, gold, construction materials, machinery, motor vehicles, pharmaceutical products
Alongside further ASEAN integration, an interconnected series of highways, railways, power and telecommunications is being implemented across Cambodia. This is happening in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries of China, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam and it will greatly enhance intra-regional trade.
In 2004, Cambodia joined the World Trade Organisation which has led to improvements in the business environment. Practical information on trading with and conducting business in Cambodia can be found on the official website of the Ministry of Commerce.
The economy has experienced strong, positive growth over the last 15 years. Cambodia is a unique country, which provides a number of opportunities across different sectors for both UK companies already operating in Southeast Asia and those new to the region. Success, however, does require a strong understanding of local social and business culture. Although not without its problems, Cambodia’s economy continues its process of rapid expansion and modernisation.