Cambodia Economy - 2021


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Economic overview

Cambodia has experienced strong economic growth over the last decade; GDP grew at an average annual rate of over 8% between 2000 and 2010 and about 7% since 2011. The tourism, garment, construction and real estate, and agriculture sectors accounted for the bulk of growth. Around 700,000 people, the majority of whom are women, are employed in the garment and footwear sector. An additional 500,000 Cambodians are employed in the tourism sector, and a further 200,000 people in construction. Tourism has continued to grow rapidly with foreign arrivals exceeding 2 million per year in 2007 and reaching 5.6 million visitors in 2017. Mining also is attracting some investor interest and the government has touted opportunities for mining bauxite, gold, iron and gems.


Still, Cambodia remains one of the poorest countries in Asia, and long-term economic development remains a daunting challenge, inhibited by corruption, limited human resources, high income inequality, and poor job prospects. According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the percentage of the population living in poverty decreased to 13.5% in 2016. More than 50% of the population is less than 25 years old. The population lacks education and productive skills, particularly in the impoverished countryside, which also lacks basic infrastructure.


The World Bank in 2016 formally reclassified Cambodia as a lower middle-income country as a result of continued rapid economic growth over the past several years. Cambodia’s graduation from a low-income country will reduce its eligibility for foreign assistance and will challenge the government to seek new sources of financing. The Cambodian Government has been working with bilateral and multilateral donors, including the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and IMF, to address the country's many pressing needs; more than 20% of the government budget will come from donor assistance in 2018. A major economic challenge for Cambodia over the next decade will be fashioning an economic environment in which the private sector can create enough jobs to handle Cambodia's demographic imbalance.


Textile exports, which accounted for 68% of total exports in 2017, have driven much of Cambodia’s growth over the past several years. The textile sector relies on exports to the United States and European Union, and Cambodia’s dependence on its comparative advantage in textile production is a key vulnerability for the economy, especially because Cambodia has continued to run a current account deficit above 9% of GDP since 2014.

Real GDP growth rate

6.9% (2017 est.)

7% (2016 est.)

7% (2015 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

2.9% (2017 est.)

3% (2016 est.)

Credit ratings

Moody's rating: B2 (2007)

Standard & Poors rating: N/A (2014)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$72.356 billion (2019 est.)

$67.588 billion (2018 est.)

$62.89 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$22.09 billion (2017 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$4,389 (2019 est.)

$4,159 (2018 est.)

$3,928 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving

27.2% of GDP (2019 est.)

25.4% of GDP (2018 est.)

23.2% of GDP (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 25.3% (2017 est.)

industry: 32.8% (2017 est.)

services: 41.9% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 76% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 5.4% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 21.8% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 1.2% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 68.6% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -73% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 53.8 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 52.4 (2020)

Trading score: 67.3 (2020)

Enforcement score: 31.7 (2020)

Agricultural products

cassava, rice, maize, vegetables, sugar cane, soybeans, rubber, oil palm fruit, bananas, pork


tourism, garments, construction, rice milling, fishing, wood and wood products, rubber, cement, gem mining, textiles

Industrial production growth rate

10.6% (2017 est.)

Labor force

8.913 million (2017 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 48.7%

industry: 19.9%

services: 31.5% (2013 est.)

Unemployment rate

0.3% (2017 est.)

0.2% (2016 est.)

note: high underemployment, according to official statistics

Population below poverty line

16.5% (2016 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

37.9 (2008 est.)

41.9 (2004 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2%

highest 10%: 28% (2013 est.)


revenues: 3.947 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 4.354 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

17.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-1.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt

30.4% of GDP (2017 est.)

29.1% of GDP (2016 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$1.871 billion (2017 est.)

-$1.731 billion (2016 est.)


$11.42 billion (2017 est.)

$10.07 billion (2016 est.)

Exports - partners

United States 21%, Singapore 8%, Thailand 8%, Germany 7%, Japan 6%, China 5%, Canada 5%, United Kingdom 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

clothing, precious metal scraps, trunks/cases, gold, leather footwear (2019)


$14.37 billion (2017 est.)

$12.65 billion (2016 est.)

Imports - partners

China 27%, Thailand 25%, Vietnam 15%, Singapore 8% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, clothing, gold, cars, flavored water (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$12.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$9.122 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Debt - external

$11.87 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$10.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Exchange rates

riels (KHR) per US dollar -

4,055 (2017 est.)

4,058.7 (2016 est.)

4,058.7 (2015 est.)

4,067.8 (2014 est.)

4,037.5 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Cambodia on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Cambodia 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Cambodia 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.