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UNIDO’s ISID Newsletter

Find out more about the Programmes for Country Partnership (PCPs) and updates on other partnerships

See the latest issue of the newsletter

Introducing Cambodia

Cambodia has achieved significant development progress over the past two decades. This progress has been largely driven by strong economic growth, averaging at 7.7% from 1995 to 2017, placing Cambodia as the sixth fastest growing economy in the world (World Bank). Poverty rates fell from 52% in 2004 to 13.5% in 2014 and Cambodia attained lower-middle income status in 2015.  

Building on recent progress and its vision to graduate to upper-middle-income status by 2030, the government designed an Industrial Development Policy (IDP) for the period 2015 to 2025. The IDP seeks to transform and modernize Cambodia’s industrial structure from labour-intensive to skills-driven and contribute to sustainable economic growth through increased economic diversification, competitiveness and productivity.

PCP Cambodia

A unique opportunity to boost the economy

In 2017, Cambodia was announced as the first PCP country in the Asia and Pacific region and part of the pilot phase. The Programme for Country Partnership for Cambodia (PCP Cambodia) will support the implementation of the national industrial development policy. It builds on Country Programme signed between the Government of Cambodia and UNIDO in 2016.

PCP Cambodia focuses on three priority areas: (i) Development of sustainable tourism; (ii) Development of competitive agro-industry and creative industry value chains; and (iii) Industrial diversification, in particular through the development of special economic zones (SEZ).

These priority areas are further supported by cross-cutting interventions on: industrial policy and business environment; skills development; quality infrastructure and related trade facilitation; innovation and technology transfer; access to finance; investment promotion; energy access and efficiency; resource efficiency and cleaner production; and environmental management and climate change.

The PCP rests on a multi-stakeholder partnership between development partners, UN agencies, financial institutions and the business sector, under the overall leadership of the Cambodian government. Through the PCP, UNIDO provides policy advice to the government, delivers multidisciplinary technical assistance focused on the selected industrial sectors and areas, and facilitates overall PCP coordination and the convening of partners.


PCP Cambodia supports the following targets from the country’s Industrial Development Policy 2015-2025, inter alia:

  • Increase the GDP share of the industrial sector from 24% to 30%
  • Increase the GDP share of manufacturing from 15.5% to 20%
  • Increase the exports of non-textile goods to 15%
  • Increase the exports of processed agricultural products to 12%
  • Formal registrations of small and medium-enterprises to reach 80-95%


The PCP will support the development of selected agro- and creative industry value chains to reduce the country’s reliance on imports of agro-industrial products that can be produced locally.

The PCP will support Cambodia in diversifying its industrial base and increasing exports of non-traditional products, in particular through the development of special economic zones (SEZs).

The PCP will support the sustainable development of high-end branded tourism to create additional jobs and boost the economy. This will contribute to the government’s target of 7 million international tourists by 2020 and 10 million by 2025. In addition, linkages will be promoted between tourism and related agro- and creative industry value chains, such as arts and handicrafts.


  1. A high-level Steering Committee, chaired by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Council for the Development of Cambodia, is being established with endorsement from the Prime Minister of Cambodia and the Council of Ministers.

     Ministerial focal points for the PCP were appointed in line with the implementation mechanism for the IDP.


In 2020, additional technical interventions will be defined within the three priority areas to finalize the PCP Cambodia programming phase. A number of projects are already under development to address the main priorities of the PCP.