Over the past two decades, Cambodia has achieved significant growth of over seven per cent annually driven primarily by several key sectors of the economy. Small and growing businesses may now be at a stage where they are considering expansion through international trade and investment and India provides as attractive market as one of the fastest growing economies with geographical proximity to Cambodia.
Trade between India and Cambodia is small but growing rapidly. Trade between the two countries amounted to $271m in 2019, an increase of 30 per cent on 2018, and 2018 had seen growth of 75% compared to 2017. India, with its ‘Act East’ policy is also keen to become more of a regional power and thus to integrate culturally and economically with countries in south east Asia. Cambodia, with its long history of ties to India, should therefore be a natural trading partner. The Khymer language has been influenced by Sanskrit and Pali and the Angkor Wat and Preah Vihear temples were influenced by India religious concepts1. Moreover, discussions on the possibility of negotiating a free trade agreement are currently underway which will make trade between India and Cambodia more attractive. India is seen by the Government of Cambodia as an attractive option for trade to counterbalance trade with and influence of China.
For businesses that are ready for this step, it is important to consider the different types of opportunities such as exporting, importing, technology transfer, licensing, joint ventures, as well as inward and outward investment, in addition to the sectors that are historically more integrated with India and are considered priority sectors in government policy. These could potentially offer the greatest prospects to businesses that are taking part in the PROFIT programme.