Cambodia header

Basic Information


Capital:Phnom Penh

Surface Area: 181,035 sq km

Head of State: King Norodom Sihamoni

Head of Government: Prime Minister Hun Sen

Official Language: Khmer language

Currency: Cambodian Riel (KHR)

Population: 15,140,000 (2013)




After being severely hit by the global economic crisis and seeing its GDP growth at only 0.1% in 2009, Cambodia’s economy has had a robust recovery with GDP growth of 6% in 2010 and over 7% in the years 2011-2013, driven by strong exports, private investment, industry and services, coupled with solid macroeconomic position. Cambodia’s GDP reached US$15.25 billion in 2013 and GDP per capita of US$1,008.

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Cambodia’s GDP 2007-2013

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Source: World Bank


GDP components

Household consumption accounted for about 82% of Cambodia’s GDP in 2011 (latest available figures), or US$10.56 billion. Government consumption accounted for only 6% of total GDP, or US$772 million. Investment, or gross capital formation, accounted for about 17% of total GDP in 2011, or US$2.2 billion. Cambodia’s external trade balance was negative by US$695 million, or 5% of GDP.

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Source: The World Bank

GDP Composition

The services sector, accounting for 40% of Cambodia’s GDP in 2012 is mainly driven by its wholesale and retail trade, transport and communication, and hospitality sectors which had benefited handsomely from the country’s booming tourism and rapid infrastructure development. Agriculture provided 36% of GDP in 2012, a percentage share which has been constant since the global financial crisis but before the crisis agriculture’s share was a bit lower with 32% over the years 2005-2007. Agriculture’s increase is mainly due to a drop in manufacturing, which in 2012 represented 16% of GDP, a fall from pre-crisis levels of 19% in 2007. The largest contributors, textile, apparel & footwear and construction, were seriously hurt from the financial crisis of 2008.

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Source: The World Bank




The Cambodian currency, the Riel (KHR), was introduced in 1980, but Cambodia has relied heavily on the US Dollar to carry out commercial activities as 80% of deposits and credits in the banking system are in US Dollars. Cambodia is therefore classified as partially dollarized. Looking at the exchange rate of the Riel over the past year, we can see that it has been relatively stable with the highest point only 2.5% higher than the lowest point. The average bid rate for the first three quarters of 2014 was 4012.5 KHR per US Dollar and the average ask rate for the same period was 4152.4.


Official Exchange Rate

KHR per USD – 1 year

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Based on the graph below depicting a 5-year movement of KHR against USD, the currency has been relatively stable, except for a slight appreciation of KHR against USD in November 2010 when the US announced huge quantitative easing measures to aid its economic recovery.

Official Exchange Rate

KHR per USD – 5 year

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Source: OANDA


Trade in service



Cambodia recorded a total of US$9.15 billion in goods export in 2013, while importing US$9.18 billion, reaching a total trade of US$18.33. About 30% of Cambodia’s imports are from ASEAN countries while almost 70% of its imports are from outside ASEAN. Only 14.2% of Cambodia’s exports are destined for ASEAN countries, while 85.8% are destined for outside ASEAN.

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Cambodia’s intra- and extra- ASEAN exports and imports, 2013

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Source: ASEAN Secretariat

Trade partners

The main export destinations of Cambodian goods in 2013 were the EU and the US, with 27.2% and 23.5%, respectively, of Cambodia’s total exports. A large share of Cambodia’s exports is destined for Hong Kong (17.2%), followed by Singapore (8.6%), other ASEAN countries (5.6%) and Canada (5.2%).

About a third of Cambodia’s imports in 2013 were from China (32.6%), while 12.2% came from the US. Over 30% of Cambodia’s imports is from ASEAN countries, with 11.9% from Vietnam, 10.7% from Thailand and 8.1% from other ASEAN countries. Finally, 7.2% of imports in 2013 were from Hong Kong while the remaining 17.3% were imported from the rest of the world.

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Source: The World Trade Organisation

Commodity groups

Manufactured goods make up almost all of Cambodia’s exports. In 2013, 94.3% of total exports were manufactured goods, while only 5.2% of exports were agricultural products and a negligible 0.1% of exports were fuels and mining products. Manufactures also make the largest import commodity group with 48%, while fuels and mining products account for 9.8% and agricultural products 5.3%.

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Source: The World Trade Organisation

Intra- and extra-ASEAN trade 2005-2013

Cambodia’s total trade has more than tripled from year the 2005 to 2013. Cambodia’s exports increased on average by 17.4% each year between 2005 and 2011 while imports increased on average by 14.7% each year. Trade growth stalled in 2009 due to the financial crisis but picked up the following year. Trade grew by a staggering 45% between the years 2011 and 2012.

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Cambodia’s trade with ASEAN partners accounted for US$4.12 billion in 2013, or 22% of total trade, a notable decrease from the 2012 level of US$5.14 billion. The decrease in intra-ASEAN trade resulted in a decrease of total trade, with US$18.32 billion in 2013, down from US$18.66 billion in 2012, even though extra-ASEAN trade had increased from US$13.52 billion to US$14.21 billion.

Intra-, extra- and total trade 2005-2013 (US$ billions)

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Source: ASEANstats

Trade in Services

Cambodia’s trade in services has grown significantly over the past few years – the 2012 of US$3.96 billion is 63% higher than the 2009. The exports of services in 2012 totalled at US$2.46 billion and the imports of services totalled at US$1.51 billion.

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Source: ASEAN Statistics



Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

Total foreign direct investment in Cambodia was about US$1.28 billion in 2013, a bit lower than the 2012 record high level of about US$1.56 billion, which was a 73% increase from the 2011 level of US$902 million. FDI inflow to Cambodia had seen robust growth in the years before the global financial crisis but in the years 2008-2009 FDI inflows decreased. Most of the investments are concentrated in sectors such as agriculture, garment factories, tourism, and mining.

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The largest part of Cambodia’s FDI inflows is from outside ASEAN. In 2013, extra-ASEAN investments accounted for US$976 million while intra-ASEAN investments accounted for about US$299 million. The level of intra-ASEAN investment was remarkably high in 2012 with US$523 million.

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FDI net inflow, intra- and extra-ASEAN, 2011-2013 (US$ millions)

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Source: ASEAN Secretariat