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How Cambodia is rebuilding its economy for the post-pandemic future

Ongoing fiscal support, new trade deals, and increased FDI inflows may spell a return to economic health for Cambodia.
08 March 2021 •

The prolonged fight against the Covid-19 pandemic has inflicted a hefty economic toll on countries. Triggered by the collapse of global economic output amid pandemic control measures, global growth contraction for 2020 is expected to hit 3.5 percent, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates.

While new vaccines were successfully rolled out toward the end of last year, the resurgence of cases and emergence of new virus variants continue to foster economic uncertainty.

In Cambodia, likewise, the fallout from the pandemic has dampened growth, though it is taking steps to steer its economy out of the crisis.

“Cambodia’s economy has been directly impacted by the pandemic and is projected to contract by 2 percent in 2020. Key sectors have been heavily affected especially tourism, manufacturing exports and construction, which collectively account for more than 70 percent of the country’s GDP growth,” shared Prayag Chitrakar, Country Manager, DHL Express Cambodia, on the impact of Covid-19.

Tourist numbers have plunged with foreign arrivals dropping 74 percent to 1.2 million between January and September 2020, down from 4.8 million in the same period in 2019.

Global supply chain disruption caused by the pandemic has also adversely affected Cambodia’s export market, especially for top export items such as garments, textiles, footwear and electrical parts. Simultaneously, a fall in foreign direct investment (FDI) has slowed the boom that was fueling growth in its construction and real estate sectors.

Fostering a return to growth

But could a restrained recovery now be on the way? The latest research from the World Bank predicts that slow tourism recovery may weigh down growth for the first half of 2021. However, it may strengthen in the second half as vaccines become more widely available and consumer confidence improves.

Cambodia’s openness to trade is another factor that will likely spur recovery. According to the DHL Global Connectedness Index 2020, which measures the development of trade, capital, information, and people flows, the kingdom ranks as the 46th most globally connected country — a relatively high ranking for a lower-middle income country.

Maintaining trade accessibility continues to be critical in encouraging foreign investment in the country. The free trade agreements on the horizon will likely unearth new growth opportunities for the country’s key sectors, which will be essential in getting the economy back on track this year,” added Chitrakar.

With continuous domestic and foreign support in the following areas, there is room for optimism that the year is shaping up to be a positive one for the Cambodian economy:

1. Ongoing fiscal support

Government intervention is likely to be a major factor underpinning Cambodia’s return to economic health. Since April 2020, the government has supported the economy by introducing a broad package of fiscal stimulus measures designed to aid recovery as the pandemic recedes.

This unprecedented direct support — accounting for 5 percent of GDP so far — has included US$1.16 billion (€0.95 billion) in equity injections and loan guarantees, development spending, tax relief for hard-hit businesses, and more.

Phnom Penh doubled down on that approach in December 2020, when it announced a fresh round of measures to boost local production capacity for export and return the economy to normal. These include extending financial aid to suspended workers in the textile, garment, and apparel sectors, which together account for over 80 percent of Cambodia’s total exports and 16 percent of GDP.

Workers in a Cambodian garment factory (Photo: Shutterstock)
Workers in a Cambodian garment factory (Photo: Shutterstock)

In the hard-hit tourism industry, the government is also extending monthly tax exemptions for hotels, guesthouses, travel agents, and restaurants operating in selected provinces, amongst other measures.

At the same time, the National Bank of Cambodia is allowing banks and financial institutions to continue loan restructuring until mid-2021.

2. New trade opportunities

One other area the kingdom is counting on for its recovery is the forging of stronger trade ties, especially through the latest free trade agreements (FTA) it has signed, or is negotiating for.

These include the China-Cambodia FTA, Cambodia’s first bilateral trade agreement, which is expected to take effect early in 2021. China is Cambodia’s largest trading partner, accounting for 23.6 percent of its total trade in 2019. The agreement covers some 300 products and will help place Cambodia’s agriculture, agro-processing, and manufacturing sectors in a stronger position to export to the Chinese market.

Then there is the upcoming Cambodia-South Korea FTA, which is in its final stages of negotiations. This is expected to boost key exports to South Korea, including garments, footwear, travel goods, rubber, medicines, agricultural products, and electronic equipment components.

On a regional front, the newly established Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which creates the world’s largest trading bloc, is also expected to boost economic confidence across Asia substantially.

“RCEP will allow Cambodian products to be sent around 15 markets, creating significant opportunities for garments, footwear and agricultural products into major markets like China, South Korea, Japan and Australia,” said Dr Deborah Elms, Founder and Executive Director of the Asian Trade Center.

“While Cambodia currently has access to these markets through ASEAN agreements, the RCEP should be easier to use and allow greater integration across all of Asia,” she added.

According to the World Bank, the agreement alone could increase Cambodia’s exports to China by 23 percent.

3. Growth in FDI inflows

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is also looking promising for 2021. The largest share of FDI inflows to Cambodia comes from China, with the bulk of investment going to key sectors such as garments, construction (especially large infrastructure projects), electric and electronic components, agriculture, mining and energy, coal and tourism.

Over the past decade, China has positioned itself as an important economic partner for Cambodia to expand its regional influence. FDI inflows from China reached US$860 million (€701 million) in the first 11 months of 2020, up a whopping 70 percent year-on-year. Given the strong indications that China is set to grow in 2021, Cambodia will also be poised to gain.

Other major sources of FDI include Korea, the UK, Malaysia, Japan and Hong Kong. Similarly, the largest share of committed investment from these countries goes to the garments, construction and infrastructure sectors, followed by tourism and agriculture.

Construction of new buildings continue in the resort town of Sihanoukville, Cambodia. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Construction of new buildings continue in the resort town of Sihanoukville, Cambodia. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Recent World Bank research found positive signs that across the board, FDI inflows are returning, likely attracted by the existing and potential FTAs. In the agricultural sector, for example, total approved project values financed by FDI from a range of countries increased nearly threefold to US$100 million (€81.5 million) in the first seven months of 2020.

Brighter future

Looking ahead, the challenge for the kingdom is whether it can maximize these investment and trade deal opportunities to ensure a robust recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

In Elms’ view, that may require some government reform. “Cambodia will need to ensure that domestic rules and regulations are as simplified as much possible.  Companies that are looking for new sourcing locations to diversify risks and new ways to build Asian supply chains have a lot of options.  They prefer to locate in markets that are easy to do business with clarity on rules,” she said.

Addressing these issues will leave Cambodia better positioned to harness its significant competitive advantages, including relatively low labor costs and the fact that it is a highly open and accessible emerging market.

This way, when the pandemic eventually subsides, the country’s new opportunities will not only lend a fillip to its economy, but also embed it deeper into the global trade system.

 

This article was first published on The Business Times.

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The prolonged fight against the Covid-19 pandemic has inflicted a hefty economic toll on countries. Triggered by the collapse of global economic output amid pandemic control measures, global growth contraction for 2020 is expected to hit 3.5 percent, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates.

While new vaccines were successfully rolled out toward the end of last year, the resurgence of cases and emergence of new virus variants continue to foster economic uncertainty.

In Cambodia, likewise, the fallout from the pandemic has dampened growth, though it is taking steps to steer its economy out of the crisis.

“Cambodia’s economy has been directly impacted by the pandemic and is projected to contract by 2 percent in 2020. Key sectors have been heavily affected especially tourism, manufacturing exports and construction, which collectively account for more than 70 percent of the country’s GDP growth,” shared Prayag Chitrakar, Country Manager, DHL Express Cambodia, on the impact of Covid-19.

Tourist numbers have plunged with foreign arrivals dropping 74 percent to 1.2 million between January and September 2020, down from 4.8 million in the same period in 2019.

Global supply chain disruption caused by the pandemic has also adversely affected Cambodia’s export market, especially for top export items such as garments, textiles, footwear and electrical parts. Simultaneously, a fall in foreign direct investment (FDI) has slowed the boom that was fueling growth in its construction and real estate sectors.

Fostering a return to growth

But could a restrained recovery now be on the way? The latest research from the World Bank predicts that slow tourism recovery may weigh down growth for the first half of 2021. However, it may strengthen in the second half as vaccines become more widely available and consumer confidence improves.

Cambodia’s openness to trade is another factor that will likely spur recovery. According to the DHL Global Connectedness Index 2020, which measures the development of trade, capital, information, and people flows, the kingdom ranks as the 46th most globally connected country — a relatively high ranking for a lower-middle income country.

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Maintaining trade accessibility continues to be critical in encouraging foreign investment in the country. The free trade agreements on the horizon will likely unearth new growth opportunities for the country’s key sectors, which will be essential in getting the economy back on track this year,” added Chitrakar.

With continuous domestic and foreign support in the following areas, there is room for optimism that the year is shaping up to be a positive one for the Cambodian economy:

1. Ongoing fiscal support

Government intervention is likely to be a major factor underpinning Cambodia’s return to economic health. Since April 2020, the government has supported the economy by introducing a broad package of fiscal stimulus measures designed to aid recovery as the pandemic recedes.

This unprecedented direct support — accounting for 5 percent of GDP so far — has included US$1.16 billion (€0.95 billion) in equity injections and loan guarantees, development spending, tax relief for hard-hit businesses, and more.

Phnom Penh doubled down on that approach in December 2020, when it announced a fresh round of measures to boost local production capacity for export and return the economy to normal. These include extending financial aid to suspended workers in the textile, garment, and apparel sectors, which together account for over 80 percent of Cambodia’s total exports and 16 percent of GDP.

Workers in a Cambodian garment factory (Photo: Shutterstock)
Workers in a Cambodian garment factory (Photo: Shutterstock)

In the hard-hit tourism industry, the government is also extending monthly tax exemptions for hotels, guesthouses, travel agents, and restaurants operating in selected provinces, amongst other measures.

At the same time, the National Bank of Cambodia is allowing banks and financial institutions to continue loan restructuring until mid-2021.

2. New trade opportunities

One other area the kingdom is counting on for its recovery is the forging of stronger trade ties, especially through the latest free trade agreements (FTA) it has signed, or is negotiating for.

These include the China-Cambodia FTA, Cambodia’s first bilateral trade agreement, which is expected to take effect early in 2021. China is Cambodia’s largest trading partner, accounting for 23.6 percent of its total trade in 2019. The agreement covers some 300 products and will help place Cambodia’s agriculture, agro-processing, and manufacturing sectors in a stronger position to export to the Chinese market.

Then there is the upcoming Cambodia-South Korea FTA, which is in its final stages of negotiations. This is expected to boost key exports to South Korea, including garments, footwear, travel goods, rubber, medicines, agricultural products, and electronic equipment components.

On a regional front, the newly established Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which creates the world’s largest trading bloc, is also expected to boost economic confidence across Asia substantially.

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Not all members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will get an equal share of the pie.

The world watched on as Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan put pen to paper on the world’s largest trade agreement alongside trade ministers from 14 other countries.

All 15 members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) were gathered virtually last November to sign the landmark agreement, concluding eight years and 31 rounds of negotiation.

Comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea, the RCEP represents about a third of the global GDP and population.

More importantly, it symbolizes integration after years of trade wars and protectionism. The trade deal comes amid a raging pandemic when there are signs of countries seeking more effective international cooperation to aid economic recovery.

New trade agreements, including the RCEP, signal continued government support for market integration in much of the world, according to the DHL Global Connectedness Index 2020 — a study measuring the development of trade, capital, information, and people flows at the global, regional, and national levels.

The pact is not considered a breakthrough in terms of immediate economic gains. That is because many of the members already have trade agreements with each other. So, tariffs are already low, if not removed, on many exports.

However, the RCEP will improve participating countries’ market access to goods and services and facilitate trade and investment across the region. Particularly worth noting is how the deal will align rules of origin and bring members together into a single production chain.

“Asia Pacific is already a hotbed of a complex maze of free trade agreements. Many of these FTAs have differing rules which are complicated and disincentivize their use. RCEP simplifies this into a single set of rules of origin, standardizing the requirements across the board and leveling the playing field for all,” explained Raymond Yee, Vice President, Customs and Regulatory Affairs, DHL Express Asia Pacific.

“The direct benefits, particularly in the form of lower tariffs, are not always available or so obvious,” said Deborah Elms, founder and Executive Director of the Asian Trade Center, a Singapore-based think tank. “But having one rule of origin in place will make a substantial difference.”

Then there is the long-term economic opportunity. According to an analysis by the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), the pact could add US$500 billion (€414 billion) a year to world trade when it moves into full swing in 2030. And it would boost annual trade among members by US$428 billion (€357 billion).

But not everyone will get a piece of this pie. Here is a rundown of the deal’s biggest winners and losers.

Winners

China

The country is no doubt the biggest winner of the pact. The PIIE study estimates that as the largest of all members, China will get an US$85 billion (€71 billion) annual boost to its GDP from increased trade by 2030.

But China’s win is far more than just economics, especially considering that the deal will give it only 0.3 percent extra real income a year. Many observers see RCEP as a China-led bloc, despite ASEAN’s pivotal role in bringing the grouping together.

China’s Premier Li Keqiang (left) with Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan
China’s Premier Li Keqiang (left) with Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan (Photo: Ministry of Commerce, People’s Republic of China)

From that perspective, the RCEP deal is a geopolitical victory for China and a sign of waning American influence in Asia Pacific following its non-participation in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

“Even more important than economic gains, however, may be the effects of East Asia’s regional turn on China’s prospects for leadership in the region,” wrote the PIIE study’s authors Peter Petri and Michael Plummer.

Analysts from Citi Research went as far as calling RCEP “a coup for China,” saying that the “diplomatic messaging of RCEP may be just as important as the economics.”

DHL Global Connectedness Index 2020 Ranking: China

Rank: 70 (-1)

Depth (International flows relative to total activity): 150 (-2)

Breadth (Distribution of international flows across countries): 18 (-1)

China remains a strongly domestic-oriented economy. Its international flows are comparatively smaller than its structural characteristics (population, GDP per capita, and geography) suggest they could be. Since deeper global connectedness is associated with faster economic growth, China has untapped potential to benefit from strengthening its connections with the rest of the world.

Japan

RCEP will deliver Japan’s first ever free trade agreement (FTA) with China and South Korea, two of its largest trading partners. And that alone makes Japan a clear winner.

“These three tigers of East Asia contribute significantly to overall trade within Asia Pacific, not to mention these countries being critical parts of regional and global value chains,” said Yee. The three countries have had talks on a proposed trilateral agreement, but negotiations had stalled in recent years.

With RCEP, Japan will likely see tariffs eliminated on 86 percent of its industrial exports to China and 92 percent of exports to South Korea. Overall, the deal is predicted to bring Japan US$48 billion (€40 billion) in annual income by 2030, particularly benefiting its automotive and auto parts industries.

DHL Global Connectedness Index 2020 Ranking: Japan

Rank: 44 (+3)

Depth (International flows relative to total activity): 126 (-4)

Breadth (Distribution of international flows across countries): 6 (-2)

Japan ranks in the top 10 underperformers for the depth category. Japan’s depth is higher with respect to outward relative to inward flows. This pattern also shows up in Japan’s trade surplus as well as its foreign direct investment.

Overall, Japan invests much more abroad than it is receives in direct investment from abroad. In fact, Japan ranks 168th of 169 for inward FDI stock, while placing 13th of 158 in FDI outflows.

South Korea

The East Asian country’s win mainly comes in the form of a forecast US$23 billion (€19.2 billion) extra income by 2030. But it might get more through improved relations, particularly with Japan.

The two countries have had political conflicts that have spilled over into their trade relations. Their recent row led Japan to tighten its rules for exporting three important chemicals to South Korea.

Their greater economic integration could cause the two countries to think twice before responding to political tensions with punitive trade actions, according to Kyle Ferrier, a Fellow and Director of Academic Affairs at the Korea Economic Institute of America.

“While further cooperation on trade cannot be an effective substitute for addressing difficult historical issues, it may help incentivize leaders in both Tokyo and Seoul to avert future downward spirals in the relationship,” he said.

According to Elms, RCEP is a pragmatic grouping — members realize that conflict in one area does not automatically preclude cooperation or consultation in another.

“The grouping is largely made up of export-oriented countries that recognize the benefits of both trade and keeping options open,” said Elms.

DHL Global Connectedness Index 2020 Ranking: South Korea

Rank: 22 (+1)

Depth (International flows relative to total activity): 78 (+6)

Breadth (Distribution of international flows across countries): 5 (0)

Considering South Korea’s export-led economy, the signing of RCEP could further enhance its level of global connectedness as it opens up more opportunities for multilateral trade between 15 member countries.

“The agreement will foster substantial growth for South Korea’s carmakers and steelmakers. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and technology firms, such as online games and entertainment businesses, are also anticipated to benefit from a possible expansion of their presence into Southeast Asia,” said ByungKoo Han, Country Manager, DHL Express Korea.

“The lowering of barriers to foreign direct investment for some member countries in certain industries will further boost up the international flow of capital from South Korea, which in turn will improve its level of global connectedness,” he added.

Losers

United States

Without an existing free trade deal with ASEAN, the absence of the U.S. from the bloc will reduce its trade opportunities in Asia Pacific. Collectively, non-members like the U.S. could lose as much as US$48 billion (€40 billion) a year from reduced trade with RCEP members.

But more critical than any economic loss is the potential for the deal to further diminish American influence in the region as RCEP members integrate and become more interdependent.

In response to the RCEP, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden recently said that the U.S and its allies need to be able to set global trading rules.
In response to the RCEP, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden recently said that the U.S and its allies need to be able to set global trading rules. (Photo: Shutterstock)

“Through the prism of U.S.–China rivalry, Washington has clearly lost out in the present situation,” said Rocky Intan, a researcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Indonesia.

However, things may change under President-elect Joe Biden’s administration. “We make up 25 percent of the world’s trading capacity, of the economy of the world. We need to be aligned with the other democracies – another 25 percent or more – so that we can set the rules of the road,” said Biden about the RCEP last November.

DHL Global Connectedness Index 2020 Ranking: United States

Rank: 37 (-2)

Depth (International flows relative to total activity): 117 (-6)

Breadth (Distribution of international flows across countries): 2 (0)

The U.S. continues to be the largest economy in the world in market exchange rate terms, and its size and location contribute to its focus on domestic rather than international flows. The flows that do cross the U.S.’ borders, however, are among the most broadly distributed, reflecting the U.S.’ strong ties to countries both within and beyond its region.

Despite its poor performance on trade depth, the U.S. shows strength within the capital and information measurements of the index, ranking in the top 10 of both.

India

India is also not part of the agreement due to perceptions that RCEP would provide more disadvantages than benefits. In particular, there were concerns that joining the bloc would create a de facto trade pact with China and flood India’s market with cheap Chinese goods, worsening its deficit with China.

India quit RCEP negotiations in 2019, a decision that could cost it US$6 billion (€5 billion) in annual income by 2030 and potentially make it a less attractive alternative for production.

“The exit of India from the negotiations is a significant loss for RCEP. The size and dynamism of the Indian economy would have provided significant boost to RCEP’s attractiveness,” said Yee.

The country can still choose to join the bloc as soon as it comes into force. However, Elms believes India is not coming back. “Not under [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi and probably not in my lifetime. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it will take time for India to return, if it happens at all,” she said.

DHL Global Connectedness Index 2020 Ranking: India

Rank: 81 (0)

Depth (International flows relative to total activity): 162 (+1)

Breadth (Distribution of international flows across countries): 16 (-1)

In the years following the global financial crisis, India was a significant overperformer on the index, but over time, its score has come closer to expectations based on structural characteristics. This reflects continued outperformance on breadth and increasing underperformance on depth, where it was once an outperformer.

Stronger performance on the depth dimension of the index is associated with faster economic growth, so India could likely benefit from turning this trend around.

Taiwan

Although more than 70 percent of export shipments from Taiwan to RCEP countries are already tariff-free, export-dependent Taiwan will miss out on trade opportunities with RCEP members. By the PIIE’s estimate, Taiwan would lose 0.4 percent in annual real income from reduced trade.

Taiwanese economic authorities are also wary of the intense competition its petrochemical, upstream textile, and machine tool industries would face from Japanese and South Korean producers.

With Japan’s and South Korea’s lower tariffs under RCEP, their products would enjoy a competitive advantage in China.

“Most of the ASEAN countries already have FTAs with Japan, South Korea, and China,” said Taiwanese Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua. “The bigger deal is, with RCEP, China and Japan now effectively have an FTA, as do South Korea and Japan.”

According to the Economic and Trade Negotiation Office of the Executive Yuan, the government is working on alternative options including joining the CPTPP, of which many of the member countries are Taiwan’s top trade partners. The office predicts that Taiwan will be able to expand its export market and drive GDP growth by at least 0.52 percent if they successfully join the agreement.

DHL Global Connectedness Index 2020 Ranking: Taiwan

Rank: 19 (+5)

Depth (International flows relative to total activity): 22 (+3)

Breadth (Distribution of international flows across countries): 35 (+1)

“In the Asia Pacific region, Taiwan’s overall performance is comparatively stable in terms of regulations, policies, and overall economic environment,” said Yung C. Ooi, Managing Director, DHL Express Taiwan.

“Being primarily an export market, Taiwanese companies have always been able to adapt quickly to changing environments. This year’s pandemic has also proven that Taiwan can manage public health crises exceptionally well, which in a way enhances the competitive advantage of Taiwanese companies,” he added.

 

 

Find out more about the individual country rankings in DHL’s Global Connectedness Index 2020:

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The DHL Global Connectedness Index measures globalization based on international flows of trade, capital, information, and people.

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“RCEP will allow Cambodian products to be sent around 15 markets, creating significant opportunities for garments, footwear and agricultural products into major markets like China, South Korea, Japan and Australia,” said Dr Deborah Elms, Founder and Executive Director of the Asian Trade Center.

“While Cambodia currently has access to these markets through ASEAN agreements, the RCEP should be easier to use and allow greater integration across all of Asia,” she added.

According to the World Bank, the agreement alone could increase Cambodia’s exports to China by 23 percent.

3. Growth in FDI inflows

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is also looking promising for 2021. The largest share of FDI inflows to Cambodia comes from China, with the bulk of investment going to key sectors such as garments, construction (especially large infrastructure projects), electric and electronic components, agriculture, mining and energy, coal and tourism.

Over the past decade, China has positioned itself as an important economic partner for Cambodia to expand its regional influence. FDI inflows from China reached US$860 million (€701 million) in the first 11 months of 2020, up a whopping 70 percent year-on-year. Given the strong indications that China is set to grow in 2021, Cambodia will also be poised to gain.

Other major sources of FDI include Korea, the UK, Malaysia, Japan and Hong Kong. Similarly, the largest share of committed investment from these countries goes to the garments, construction and infrastructure sectors, followed by tourism and agriculture.

Construction of new buildings continue in the resort town of Sihanoukville, Cambodia. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Construction of new buildings continue in the resort town of Sihanoukville, Cambodia. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Recent World Bank research found positive signs that across the board, FDI inflows are returning, likely attracted by the existing and potential FTAs. In the agricultural sector, for example, total approved project values financed by FDI from a range of countries increased nearly threefold to US$100 million (€81.5 million) in the first seven months of 2020.

Brighter future

Looking ahead, the challenge for the kingdom is whether it can maximize these investment and trade deal opportunities to ensure a robust recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

In Elms’ view, that may require some government reform. “Cambodia will need to ensure that domestic rules and regulations are as simplified as much possible.  Companies that are looking for new sourcing locations to diversify risks and new ways to build Asian supply chains have a lot of options.  They prefer to locate in markets that are easy to do business with clarity on rules,” she said.

Addressing these issues will leave Cambodia better positioned to harness its significant competitive advantages, including relatively low labor costs and the fact that it is a highly open and accessible emerging market.

This way, when the pandemic eventually subsides, the country’s new opportunities will not only lend a fillip to its economy, but also embed it deeper into the global trade system.

 

This article was first published on The Business Times.

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