Knowledge Note

Cambodia has made great strides in promoting trade with its neighbors and raising its annual GDP growth rate to an impressive 7.3 percent in 2012; and this despite joining the ASEAN club relatively late in 1999, and then the World Trade Organization in 2004. However, one fifth of the population remains below the poverty line, and Cambodia still has a long way to go to catch up with its neighbors, Vietnam and Thailand, in terms of export success. In order to accelerate the country’s economic leap forward and reduce poverty levels, the Royal Government of Cambodia has decided on a major push for export growth, with ambitious targets for exporting Cambodia’s large rice surplus, and for becoming better integrated into regional production networks. These targets make good use of the country’s comparative advantages in labor costs and geographical location. However, a major constraint—weak logistics performance—should be urgently addressed if it is not to limit these good intentions.

About the Presenters

Julian Latimer Clark