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.

ADB's Work in Cambodia

In 2023, Cambodia’s economic recovery continued with gross domestic product (GDP) growing by an estimated 5%, led by the tourism and non-garment manufacturing sectors. Inflation decelerated to 2.1% from 5.3% in the previous year as global commodity price pressures eased. Tourism and trade recovery led the current account into surplus. Fiscal policy remained expansionary.

In the decade leading up to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Cambodia posted impressive economic growth with an average annual GDP rate of over 7%, positioning it as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and the Pacific. This robust growth was supported by macroeconomic stability, openness to trade, large inflows of foreign direct investment, strong tourist arrivals, and a structural shift toward export-oriented manufacturing.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is one of the country’s largest sources of official development assistance with an average annual lending of $363.28 million from 2019 to 2023. ADB’s support is aligned with Cambodia’s Rectangular Strategy - Phase IV and Strategic Framework and Programs for Economic Recovery in the Context of Living with COVID-19 in a New Normal, 2021–2023.

As of 31 December 2023, ADB has committed 339 public sector loans, grants, and technical assistance totaling $4.8 billion to Cambodia. ADB’s current sovereign portfolio in Cambodia includes 34 loans and 8 grants worth $1.92 billion.

Cumulative sovereign and nonsovereign loan and grant disbursements to Cambodia amount to $3.46 billion. These were financed by regular and concessional ordinary capital resources, the Asian Development Fund, and other special funds.

ADB assisted the Government of Cambodia in implementing its Rectangular Strategy - Phase IV. In 2023, ADB committed a total of $90 million in lending to support efforts to strengthen public sector management at the national and subnational levels through improved governance and financial management. A $100-million loan was also provided to help Cambodia develop its pool of skilled workers in response to changing industry needs. ADB secured an additional $25 million in cofinancing to support the program. 

ADB committed over $3.93 million in technical assistance to improve domestic resource mobilization, offer solutions on the impact of heat stress on workers, improve the efficiency of project implementation, and support for the implementation of the government’s new Pentagonal Strategy Phase I, 2024–2028

Nonsovereign operations. Total outstanding balances and undisbursed commitments of ADB’s nonsovereign transactions in Cambodia as of 31 December 2023 amounted to $60.03 million, representing 0.51% of ADB’s total private sector portfolio. 

Operational challenges. In 2023, ADB provided $140 million (of total commitments) in budget support through policy reforms. More than $190 million worth of contracts were awarded to national and international firms and over $230 million was disbursed in the delivery of project loans, grants, and technical assistance. Contracts were awarded through an open competitive bidding process. ADB is working closely with the government and other development partners to improve the performance of project implementation through (i) strengthening capacity in project management, procurement, safeguards and financial management; (ii) developing common reporting and monitoring reports across all development partners; (iii) simplifying business processes; and (iv) updating standard operating procedures. In doing so, ADB strengthens the government’s capacity in project implementation, environmental and social safeguards, and climate change mitigation and adaptation in all publicly financed projects.

Photo: Asian Development Bank
Diploma students at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC) practicing their knowledge and skills in the civil construction lap. Photo: Institute of Technology of Cambodia
 

Knowledge Work

ADB produced several knowledge products jointly with the Government of Cambodia and development partners. The forthcoming Public–Private Partnership (PPP) Monitor for Cambodia will provide an overview of Cambodia’s PPP market, analyze its landscape, identify key challenges, and recommend actions for strengthening partnerships. ADB also supported the government in the development of its National Fintech Development Policy 2023–2028 to promote financial innovation, ensure financial stability, and enhance financial inclusion. ADB will publish a Gender Impact Assessment of COVID-19 on Women-Led MSMEs which will identify key challenges and opportunities to inform government policy. 

ADB jointly organized several knowledge events with the government in 2023, including a high-level dialogue on climate action as part of the preparation for the new ADB country partnership strategy, 2024–2028. A symposium was organized in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme on the socioeconomic impact assessment of the 2020-2023 polycrisis on vulnerable households. ADB supported the National Social Protection Council in launching the Social Protection Registration System and Data Management Harmonization Project, which integrates all information systems related to social protection.

Shareholding and Voting Power

Number of Shares Held
5,250 (0.049% of total shares)

Votes
44,364 (0.334% of total membership, 0.512% of total regional membership)

*Overall capital subscription
$70.44 million

*Paid-in capital subscription
$5.88 million

* United States dollar figures are valued at rate as of 31 December 2023.


ADB Governor: Aun Pornmoniroth
ADB Alternate Governor: Ros Seilava
ADB Director: Rachel Thompson (Australia)
ADB Alternate Director: Lisa Wright (Australia)
ADB Director’s Advisors: Sweety Kalbesang (Palau) and Sabuhi Jafarov (Azerbaijan)

 

Financing Partnerships

Financing partnerships enable ADB’s financing partner governments or their agencies, multilateral financing institutions, and private organizations to participate in financing ADB projects. The additional funds provided may be in the form of loans and grants, technical assistance, and nonsovereign cofinancing.

Cumulative cofinancing commitments in Cambodia:

  • Sovereign cofinancing: $1.19 billion for 60 investment projects and $70.04 million for 62 technical assistance projects since 1992
  • Nonsovereign cofinancing: $85.01 million for 5 investment projects since 2004

In 2023, Cambodia received $25 million in loan cofinancing from the Agence Française de Développement for the Skills for Future Economy Sector Development Program (Subprogram 1).

 

Future Directions

In 2024, ADB will finalize its next 5-year partnership strategy in support of the government’s Pentagonal Strategy Phase 1, 2023–2028. Presented as a partnership for Cambodia’s prosperity, its people, and the planet, it aims to strengthen pathways to accelerate economic diversification, advance human development, and strengthen climate resilience. ADB operations aim to provide integrated, multisector solutions to maximize development impacts. The new strategy plans to scale up support to address Cambodia’s climate vulnerabilities through strengthened partnerships with the private sector. This includes climate-smart technologies to improve productivity, diversification, and commercialization in the agriculture, fisheries, and livestock sectors. ADB expects to continue to grow its investments in sustainable and green urban infrastructure for smart and livable cities, water, and sanitation in rural areas, as well as renewable energy and energy efficiency

This article was originally published in the ADB and Cambodia: Fact Sheet. Updated yearly, this ADB Fact Sheet provides concise information on ADB's operations in the country and contact information.

Contacts

Cambodia Resident Mission
Asian Development Bank
29 Suramarit Boulevard (268/19)
Sangkat Chaktomuk, Khan Daun Penh
P. O. Box 2436, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel: +855 23 973200
Fax: +855 23 973500
E-mail
www.adb.org/cambodia

Ministry of Economy and Finance
Street 92, Sangkat Wat Phnom
Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel: +855 23 724664
Fax: +855 23 427798
E-mail

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