- Over the last decade, Cambodia’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an average rate of 8.2 percent. In 2013, the economy grew by over seven percent, and it is expected to continue to grow at a similar rate over the next two years. Despite the strong performance of the garment, tourism, and construction/real estate sectors, Cambodia remains an agrarian country. Approximately 80 percent of the Cambodian population is involved in agriculture on a full-time or part-time basis.
- The United States is Cambodia’s largest trading partner, accounting for 33% of the country’s total exports. In 2013, Cambodian exports to the United States were valued at $2.77 billion. For the same year, U.S. exports to Cambodia were $241 million.
- The United States and Cambodia are signatories to a 2006 Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) to promote greater trade and investment in both countries and to provide a forum for addressing bilateral trade and investment issues. The United States and Cambodia began exploratory discussions on a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) in May 2013 and these discussions are ongoing. Cambodia is also a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia Free Trade Area (AFTA).
- Significant challenges to doing business in Cambodia commonly cited by the private sector include weak rule of law, poor infrastructure, high energy costs, corruption, and under-developed human resources.
- Lack of respect for basic human rights, including media freedoms, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly, continues to be a concern and has factored prominently in disputes over land rights.
- Limited enforcement of intellectual property rights, including the sale of counterfeit and pirated products, also remains a major concern for U.S. companies.
- Cambodia offers potential investment opportunities in agribusiness and food processing; tourism infrastructure and resorts; education; architecture, construction, and engineering services; household goods and appliances; used cars and automotive parts; power generation equipment and power transmission infrastructure; fast food and beverage franchises; pharmaceuticals; and medical supplies and equipment.
- Working with a local partner, such as an agent or distributor, is the most effective way to reach Cambodian consumers. A local partner can facilitate and expedite market entry through market knowledge and established networks.
- In Cambodia, personal relationships can be the key to successful business transactions. Please refer to Chapter 3 of the Country Commercial Guide for further information on access to the Cambodian market.
For more details on Doing Business in Cambodia, read the Cambodia Country Commercial Guide, please select the link below:
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
U.S. Commercial Service,
U.S. Embassy, Bangkok
GPF Witthayu Tower A, Suite 302,
93/1 Wireless Road Bangkok 10330
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:  205-5913
Fax:  255-2915