Cambodia and ADB

ADB is helping Cambodia achieve its Vision 2050 to become a high-income country through economic diversification, human development, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Economic forecasts for Cambodia

Figures are based on the latest edition of ADB's Asian Development Outlook, which analyzes economic and development issues in Asia and the Pacific. This includes forecasting the inflation and gross domestic product growth rates of economies throughout the region.


 

Comparative economic forecasts

The latest available economic data for Cambodia compared to countries in Southeast Asia.


Policy Challenge—Ensuring a Smooth Transition from Least-Developed-Country Category

Cambodia is on track to graduate from the least-developed-country (LDC) category. Two decades after being included in the United Nations LDC category the country met the graduation criteria for the first time in 2021. According to the UN 2024 triennial review, gross national income per capita is currently $1,590, crossing the threshold of $1,306; human assets index is 77.8, above the 66 threshold level; and the economic and environmental index is 24.1, below the 32 threshold level. Thus, Cambodia is well-positioned to pass its second consecutive triennial review this year, potentially graduating out of the LDC category in 2027.

Graduation offers long-term benefits. By sending positive signals on the country’s development and stability, it will likely attract higher FDI and stimulate faster economic growth. Graduation may also accelerate economic diversification, reducing reliance on a few products and markets. Preparing for graduation often involves strengthening institutions and capacity, leading to more effective governance, policy implementation, and resilience to external shocks.

Graduation, however, will bring immediate challenges. Loss of trade benefits, such as duty-free privileges and lenient rules of origin, will impact several key exports, most notably GFT exports to the European Union (EU), which accounted for 12.7% of all exports in 2023. The World Trade Organization projects that graduation could lead to a 6.0% drop in exports by LDCs, particularly affecting GFT. Graduation will also reduce official development assistance (ODA), an important factor contributing to the past decade of high growth and development.

Cambodia must start preparing for a smooth transition. The country should continue expanding its participation in free trade agreements, including those with the EU, to secure market access post-graduation. It should also intensify commitment to economic diversification into new markets and higher value-added products. It should also explore the Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+)—which extends zero-tariff benefits to newly graduated countries—by ratifying the remaining environmental protection and good governance conventions Strengthening human capital development, supporting climate-resilient infrastructure, and fostering a conducive business environment for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises should remain cornerstones of long-term growth. Finally, it is imperative to strengthen domestic resource mobilization to diversify funding sources and reduce reliance on ODA for public investment in infrastructure and social development projects.

More resources

Asian Development Bank and Cambodia: Fact Sheet

Asian Development Bank and Cambodia: Fact Sheet

The Fact Sheets summarize ADB's partnerships with member economies, providing key facts and figures and an overview of activities and future directions.

Asian Development Outlook (ADO) April 2024

Asian Development Outlook

The Asian Development Outlook analyzes economic and development issues in developing countries in Asia.

Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2023

Key Indicators

The Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific publication presents data regarding the economic, financial, social, and environmental situations in a broad range of countries across the region.

Basic Statistics 2024

Basic Statistics

The Basic Statistics brochure presents data on selected social, economic, and SDG indicators such as population, poverty, annual growth rate of gross domestic product, inflation, and government finance for economies in Asia and the Pacific.