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Cambodia Market Profile

Why Cambodia

Cambodia is a developing market economy that grew at an average rate of over 10 percent from 2004 to 2007, driven largely by an expansion in the garment sector, construction, agriculture, and tourism. 

Cambodia‘s rapidly expanding tourism industry is led by the spectacular cultural attraction of Angkor Wat. Tourism has increased more than eleven-fold since 1998 when Cambodia received a modest 187,000 tourists, with the number of foreign arrivals exceeding 2 million in 2009. 

Despite rapid growth in garments and tourism, Cambodia remains an agrarian society, with the agriculture sector employing approximately 80 percent of Cambodia‘s population. Donors have been a driving force behind the development efforts of Cambodia with financial support accounting for at least 50% of the government budget. The U.S. is one of Cambodia‘s largest donors and official U.S. assistance amounted to over $62 million in 2009, up from $36 million in 2002. 

Foreign investment in Cambodia has increased significantly since 2004 led by Asian investors from countries such as Malaysia, China, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. Approved investment proposals by the Council for the Development of Cambodia surpassed $11 billion in 2008. The Cambodian government currently offers a generous package of incentives to foreign investors and imposes few restrictions on imports from abroad. 

Trade Agreements

Cambodia joined the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1995 and is also a member of the ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ). Cambodia ratified the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Mutual Recognition Arrangements. It has also signed numerous trade agreements, including the U.S.-Cambodia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) in 2006, which facilitates and promotes greater trade and investment of the two countries and provides a forum to address bilateral trade and investment issues. Two successful meetings were held under the TIFA in 2007 in which the U.S. and Cambodian governments discussed WTO accession requirements, trade facilitation and economic development initiatives, and progress on intellectual property rights. In 2008, several bilateral working level meetings were held to advance the TIFA agenda. Additional information on trade agreements can be found at: 

Market Opportunity

Cambodia offers potential investment opportunities in tourism infrastructure and resorts; education; architecture, construction, and engineering services; household goods and appliances; agribusiness and food processing; used cars and automotive parts; power generation equipment; fast food and beverage franchises; pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and medical equipment; and banking. 

Best Prospects 

  • Tourism Infrastructure and Resorts
  • Education
  • Architecture, Construction, and Engineering Services
  • Household Goods and Appliances
  • Agribusiness and Food Processing
  • Used Cars and Automotive Parts
  • Power Generation Equipment
  • Fast Food and Beverage Franchises
  • Pharmaceuticals, Medical Supplies, and Medical Equipment
  • Banking

Cambodia at a Glance

  • Location: Mainland Southeast Asia between Thailand to the west and north and Vietnam to the east and southeast. It shares a land border with Laos in the northeast. The Mekong River is the most prominent geographical feature of the county, flowing directly from the north to the Mekong Delta of Vietnam in the south.
  • Land Boundaries: Thailand, and Laos
  • Area Total: 181,040 sq. km. (69,900 sq. mi.); about the size of Missouri.
  • Climate: Tropical monsoon with rainy season June-Oct. and dry season Nov.-May
  • Languages:  Khmer (official) spoken by more than 95percentage of the population; some French still spoken in urban areas; English increasingly popular as a second language
  • Government type:  Multiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy
  • Population:  14.31million(2011 census)
  • GDP Real Growth Rate: 6.9 percent (2011 census)
  • GDP value: US$12.88 billion (2011 census)
  • GNI – per capita (PPP):  US$830 (2011)
  • Inflation: 3.8 percent (2011 census)
  • By 2011, GDP by sectors: agriculture 46.89 percent, garment factories 32 percent, tourism 5.13 percent, mining 3.52 percent and telecommunication 0.29 percent

Country Commercial Guide

For more details on Doing Business in Cambodia, read the Cambodia Country Commercial Guide, please select the link below:

Upcoming Events

For events information, visit www.export.gov/tradeevent.html.  

Contact Us

David Myers
Economic, Commercial Officer

United States Embassy Phnom Penh
Cambodian Mailing Address: #1, St. 96, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
U.S. Mailing Address: Box P, APO AP 96546
Tel: [855-23]728-000
Fax: [855-23]728-888
E-mail: myersdr3@state.gov
Website: http://cambodia.usembassy.gov
Website: http://phnompenh.usembassy.gov/economic_affairs_office.html

Michael McGee
Commercial Counselor
U.S. Commercial Service,
U.S. Embassy, Bangkok
GPF Witthayu Tower A, Suite 302,
93/1 Wireless Road Bangkok 10330
Tel: [662]-205-5280
Fax: [662]-255-2915
E-mail: Michael.McGee@trade.gov
Website: www.export.gov/thailand

For more information on Intellectual Property Rights Protection in Cambodia, contact:

Peter N. Fowler
Regional IP Attaché
U.S. Patent and Trademark office
U.S. Embassy Bangkok
GPF Witthayu Tower A, Suite 302,
93/1 Wireless Rd., Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: [662] 205-5913
Fax: [662] 255-2915
Email: Peter.Fowler@trade.gov

Useful Links

Market Overview
Guide to Doing Business
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Cambodia Map