Cambodia Business News Highlight for May 2023

Cambodia’s economy is on a firm path to recovery, led by manufacturing exports and growth in services and agriculture, according to the World Bank’s latest report. The report also highlights the potential and challenges of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country, as well as the need for export product diversification and financial stability.

World Bank’s Economic Update: Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery

The World Bank released its Cambodia Economic Update: Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery on May 18, 2023, which provides an overview of the country’s macroeconomic situation and outlook. The report states that Cambodia’s economic recovery solidified in 2022, when real growth accelerated to 5.2%, and is expected to further accelerate to 5.5% in 2023. The recovery is driven by a strong rebound in services, especially trade, travel, and hospitality, as well as an expansion in agriculture due to improved access to regional markets. Manufacturing exports also remain resilient, despite the global slowdown in external demand.

The report also notes that Cambodia has been able to increase its social sector spending in recent years, notably on health and education, while maintaining fiscal sustainability. However, the quality and efficiency of that spending could be improved by addressing the uneven distribution of teachers among grade levels and low public trust in state health facilities.

The report advises that Cambodia needs to balance its growth and employment support with macro-financial stability, as the country faces risks from tightening financial conditions and rising private debt levels. The report recommends that the authorities maintain or lower the reserve requirement ratio, intensify oversight of the financial sector, prepare legislation on deposit insurance and bank resolution, and realign the regulatory framework with international standards.

The report also emphasizes the importance of export product diversification for enhancing Cambodia’s economic resilience and competitiveness. The report suggests that Cambodia has had limited success in diversifying outside of garments and footwear, while its agro-processing capacity remains limited. The report urges that efforts are needed to further promote export product diversification by boosting connectivity, reducing trade barriers, streamlining customs procedures, and supporting innovation.

FDI Outlook: Unlocking Potential on Cambodia’s FDI Future

Cambodia emerges as a budding economic powerhouse with an outlook ripe for foreign direct investment (FDI), according to an article published by Cambodia Investment Review on May 23, 2023. The article cites the World Bank’s report as well as other sources to highlight the opportunities and benefits of FDI in Cambodia.

The article states that Cambodia has several advantages that make it attractive for FDI, such as its strategic location in Southeast Asia, its young and growing population, its low labor costs, its preferential trade access to major markets, its stable political environment, and its improving infrastructure and connectivity. The article also notes that Cambodia has been implementing various reforms and initiatives to improve its business climate and investment attractiveness, such as simplifying business registration procedures, reducing corporate income tax rates, establishing special economic zones (SEZs), signing free trade agreements (FTAs), and launching public-private partnerships (PPPs) for large infrastructure projects.

The article also acknowledges some of the challenges and risks that FDI faces in Cambodia, such as weak governance and institutions, corruption and bureaucracy, skills gaps and labor shortages, environmental and social impacts, legal uncertainties and disputes, and competition from other countries. The article suggests that Cambodia needs to address these challenges and risks by strengthening its legal framework and enforcement capacity, enhancing its human capital development and social protection systems, promoting environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR), resolving investment disputes through arbitration or mediation mechanisms, and diversifying its FDI sources and sectors.

Business Highlights: Major Deals and Developments

Cambodia’s business sector witnessed several major deals and developments in May 2023, reflecting the country’s growing attractiveness for investment and trade. Some of the notable highlights are:

  • The Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) welcomed its 14th listed company, Cambodia Airports Holding (CAH), which operates the country’s three international airports in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville. CAH raised $120 million from its initial public offering (IPO), which was oversubscribed by 2.5 times. The company plans to use the proceeds to expand and upgrade its airport facilities and services, as well as to diversify its revenue streams (
  • The Royal Group of Companies, Cambodia’s largest conglomerate, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China’s State Grid Corporation to develop a $1.5 billion power transmission project in Cambodia. The project aims to build a 500-kilovolt power transmission line that will connect Phnom Penh with Stung Treng province, where the Royal Group is developing a 700-megawatt hydropower plant. The project will also link Cambodia’s power grid with those of neighboring countries, such as Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam (
  • The Ministry of Commerce announced that Cambodia’s exports to China increased by 32 percent year-on-year in the first four months of 2023, reaching $1.8 billion. The ministry attributed the growth to the implementation of the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA), which came into effect on January 1, 2023. The CCFTA grants tariff-free access for 97 percent of Cambodian products to the Chinese market, covering sectors such as agriculture, textiles, garments, footwear, and electronics (
  • The Ministry of Tourism launched a new campaign called “Cambodia: Kingdom of Wonder – Feel the Warmth” to promote domestic and international tourism in Cambodia. The campaign aims to showcase Cambodia’s diverse and rich cultural and natural attractions, as well as its hospitality and safety standards. The campaign also coincides with the hosting of the Southeast Asian Games and ASEAN Para Games in Cambodia in May and June 2023, which are expected to attract more than 10,000 athletes and officials from 11 countries.


Cambodia’s business news highlight for May 2023 reflects the country’s economic recovery and resilience amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has been able to maintain its growth momentum, attract FDI, expand its trade relations, and enhance its infrastructure and human development. However, the country also faces some challenges and risks, such as financial stability, export diversification, environmental sustainability, and social inclusion. Cambodia needs to continue its reforms and initiatives to address these challenges and risks, and to seize the opportunities and benefits of its economic development.

Related Posts