Cambodia Trade Integration Strategy 2014-201820 Feb 2014
Cambodia has been quite successful heretofore in integrating the global economy through trade and investment. Progress since the mid-2000s is significant. But world markets are ever changing with new competitors continuously emerging to challenge Cambodia’s export sectors. The challenge for the country and its leading export sectors is to respond to change by strengthening the competitiveness of established sectors while nurturing new ones.
Trade sector competitiveness is critical to growth, and, in turn, to the creation of new and better jobs as well as income which are requirements for poverty-reduction. Yet, connecting trade expansion to poverty-reduction, gender equality, and greater inclusiveness remains a challenge. With rapid growth in export-oriented agricultural sectors in rural areas and emerging diversification in the number of tourism destinations, Cambodia has made important progress in tackling poverty through employment and income creation on a more geographically-widespread basis. However, working and living conditions associated with many export-related jobs need improvement. The potential negative impact of some export production on the physical environment needs greater attention. And, possibly, raising skills of the work force will be the country’s greatest challenges going forward if it is to succeed in using trade expansion as a means to create better jobs, with higher skills that generate greater income.