Cambodia benefits economically from Asean

30 April 2019 marks the twentieth anniversary of Cambodia’s membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). At its outset, the Kingdom regarded this membership as a means to promote its economic prosperity. Has the Kingdom achieved what it intended for? The article argues that Cambodia has overall reaped remarkable economic benefits from being the Asean membership, albeit early challenges in economic reforms.

In terms of economic interest, Cambodia’s membership in Asean has bought about a considerable increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from both Asean member countries and the dialogue partners of Asean such as Japan, China, South Korea, Australia and the United States.

The FDI from other Asean member countries into Cambodia was modest in 2000, but the figure continuously increased to $129.2 million in 2005, $523 million in 2012 and $603 million in 2017.

Leng Thearith is Director of the Mekong Centre for Strategic Studies, Asian Vision Institute (AVI).

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