សារគន្លឹះ / Key Messages
- អន្តរជាតូបនីយកម្មរបស់កម្ពុជាតាមរយៈការវិនិយោគផ្ទាល់ពីបរទេស (FDI) បានកើនឡើងជាលំដាប់ក្នុងរយៈពេលពីរទសវត្សរ៍កន្លងមកនេះ។ ការធ្វើសមាហរណកម្មរបស់កម្ពុជាទៅក្នុងសេដ្ឋកិច្ចពិភពលោក កំពុងរួមចំណែកយ៉ាងសំខាន់ក្នុងការសម្រេចបាននូវឋានៈជាប្រទេសដែលមានប្រាក់ចំណូលមធ្យមកម្រិតខ្ពស់នៅឆ្នាំ២០៣០ និងប្រាក់ចំណូលខ្ពស់នៅឆ្នាំ២០៥០។
- ធាតុផ្សំនៃ FDI របស់កម្ពុជា បានផ្លាស់ប្តូរឆ្ពោះទៅរកសេវាកម្ម ស្របតាមការផ្លាស់ប្តូររចនាសម្ព័ន្ធក្នុងស្រុក និងនិន្នាការពិភពលោក។ សំខាន់ជាងនេះទៅទៀត វិស័យមួយក្នុងចំណោមវិស័យដែលកំពុងកើនឡើង គឺថាមពលជំនួស ឬថាមពលកកើតឡើងវិញ ដែលជាសញ្ញាបង្ហាញពីការប្តេជ្ញាចិត្តរបស់កម្ពុជាក្នុងការរួមបញ្ចូលថាមពលកកើតឡើងវិញ និងថាមពលប្រកបដោយប្រសិទ្ធភាព ទៅក្នុងយុទ្ធសាស្ត្រជាតិ។ ការបន្តការប្រើប្រាស់ឌីជីថលទ្វេ និងសេដ្ឋកិច្ចបៃតង តាមរយៈអន្តរជាតូបនីយកម្ម គឺស្របទៅនឹងការបន្ថែមផ្នែកបច្ចេកវិទ្យា ដែលជាអាទិភាពទីប្រាំនៅក្នុងយុទ្ធសាស្ត្ររបស់រដ្ឋាភិបាល (បន្ទាប់ពីមនុស្ស ផ្លូវ ទឹក និងអគ្គិសនី) ហើយមានសារៈសំខាន់ សម្រាប់ការទទួលបានឋានៈជាប្រទេសដែលមានប្រាក់ចំណូលខ្ពស់នៅឆ្នាំ២០៥០។
- ម៉្យាងវិញទៀត ជំនាញតាមផ្នែកមុខងារក្នុងដំណាក់កាលផលិតកម្មកាន់តែមានភាពរឹងមាំ ជាមួយនឹងការវិនិយោគតិចតួចហើយថយចុះ ទៅលើមុខងារនវានុវត្តន៍ និងស្រាវជ្រាវ និងអភិវឌ្ឍន៍ (R&D)។ គុណភាពនៃលំហូរ FDI នៅតែជាអាទិភាពមួយសម្រាប់យុទ្ធសាស្ត្របញ្ចកោណថ្មីរបស់រដ្ឋាភិបាល។
- និន្នាការចេញខាងក្រៅនៃ FDI នាពេលថ្មីៗនេះ បង្ហាញពីការលេចឡើងនៃយុទ្ធសាស្ត្រអន្តរជាតូបនីយកម្មយ៉ាងសកម្មពីក្រុមហ៊ុនធំៗនៅកម្ពុជា។ ការធានានូវការតភ្ជាប់ប្រកបដោយតុល្យភាព និងការជំរុញ
ការវិនិយោគនៅបរទេសដោយសហគ្រាសក្នុងស្រុក បានលេចចេញជាយុទ្ធសាស្ត្រអភិវឌ្ឍន៍ដ៏សំខាន់មួយ នៅក្នុងសេដ្ឋកិច្ចជឿនលឿន និងកំពុងរីកចម្រើន។
- ផលជះនៃសាកលភាវូបនីយកម្ម អាស្រ័យយ៉ាងសំខាន់ទៅលើសមត្ថភាពគ្រប់គ្រងសមាហរណកម្មជាប្រព័ន្ធ និងអនុវត្តការឆ្លើយតបគោលនយោបាយប្រកបដោយប្រសិទ្ធភាព ដើម្បីដោះស្រាយការបែងចែកអត្ថប្រយោជន៍ និងការចំណាយដែលមិនសមាមាត្រគ្នា។ ការអនុវត្តគោលដៅផ្សេងៗគ្នាក្នុងពេលដំណាលគ្នា ការទាក់ទាញ FDI ដែលមានតម្លៃបន្ថែមខ្ពស់ អន្តរជាតូបនីយកម្មនៃក្រុមហ៊ុនកម្ពុជា និងការគាំទ្រចំពោះ
អាទិភាពទាំងប្រាំរបស់រដ្ឋាភិបាល ចាំបាច់តម្រូវឱ្យមានការសម្របសម្រួល ការរៀបចំ និងអភិបាលកិច្ចដែនដីច្បាស់លាស់។
- Cambodia’s internationalisation through foreign direct investment (FDI) has steadily grown in the past two decades. Cambodia’s integration into the global economy is substantially contributing to the forthcoming achievement of its upper middle-income status by 2030 and high income by 2050.
- Cambodia’s FDI composition has shifted towards services, in line with domestic structural change and global trends. Importantly, one of the growingly receiving sectors is alternative/renewable energy, signalling Cambodia’s commitment to integrating renewable energy and energy efficiency into national strategies. Pursuing the dual digital and green transition through internationalisation is consistent with the addition of technology as a fifth priority in the government’s strategy (after people, road, water, and electricity) and is crucial for gaining the high-income status by 2050.
- On the other hand, functional specialisation in production stages has become even stronger, with negligible and decreasing investment in innovation and research and development (R&D) functions. The quality of FDI inflows remains a priority for the government’s new Pentagonal Strategy.
- Recent outward FDI trends indicate the emergence of active internationalisation strategies from large Cambodian companies. Ensuring balanced connectivity and promoting investments abroad by domestic enterprises has emerged as a major development strategy in both advanced and emerging economies.
- The impacts of globalisation crucially depend on the capacity to govern systemic integration and implement effective policy responses to tackle the uneven distribution of benefits and costs. Undertaking simultaneously different goals – attraction of high value-added FDI, internationalisation of Cambodian firms, and support to the government’s five priorities – necessarily entails coordination, alignment, and clear territorial governance.
Since the beginning of the 2000s, Cambodia has undergone a process of rapid industrialisation, growing internationalisation, and moderate diversification. Cambodia’s export structure has gradually upgraded and diversified, strengthening its integration in Southeast Asian and Asian global value chains (GVCs). Both export-oriented garment manufacturing and tourism services have been key industries to Cambodia’s economic transformation, attracting major FDI. The sustained growth and diversification of domestic services have been behind the attraction of large inflows of FDI, particularly in retail and finance (Hing, 2023; Iammarino, 2022). In 2022, Cambodia was one of the top five recipients of global greenfield FDI to developing economies, with some of these investments in sectors highly relevant to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (UNCTAD, 2023).
On the other hand, little evidence exists about the recent active internationalisation strategies of Cambodian firms. This blog provides a snapshot of greenfield FDI trends into and from Cambodia based on fDiMarkets by Financial Times for the two decades from 2003 to 2022. The international connectivity of Cambodia – i.e., its exposure to the assets, knowledge and expertise flows coming from and going towards the rest of the world – is of paramount importance for understanding the economic development trajectories of the country and its regions towards the achievement of the upper middle-income status by 2030, and that of high-income country by 2050.
Inward FDI in Cambodia
Cambodia has been attracting considerable inward FDI (IFDI) over the two decades 2003-2022: the trends reported in Figure 1 in terms of both investment value and number of jobs created also illustrate – despite the usual volatility of such indicators, particularly in correspondence to major global crises – the start of the recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Figure 1: IFDI value and number of jobs, 2003-2022
Change between the two decades 2003-2012 and 2013-2022 shows a major shift toward services (Figure 2), in line with global trends. The “winner” sector has been real estate, becoming by far the most attractive to foreign investors in the second period, followed by financial services. The other main recipient sectors registering substantial growth are alternative/renewable energy and transportation and warehousing, both witnessing doubled IFDI values between the two decades. Interestingly, although the textiles sector shows relatively modest greenfield IFDI values, its labour-intensive nature emerges in terms of the estimated number of jobs, for which it is the first IFDI recipient in Cambodia in both decades, growing fivefold in the most recent period with over 26,400 jobs generated between 2013 and 2022. On the contrary, the largest recipient sector in value terms in the 2003-2012 decade – coal, oil and natural gas – lost its appeal over time, reflecting internal reforms to move away from fossil fuels.
Figure 2: IFDI value by sector between 2003-2012 and 2013-2022
In terms of the five FDI functions/GVC stages (headquarter, R&D, sales, production, logistic & distribution), the ranking remains the same across the two observed periods, with production consistently displaying the highest and growing shares of total FDI value as well as a number of jobs. Unsurprisingly for a developing economy like Cambodia, R&D is the GVC stage with the lowest level of IFDI in both periods. Worryingly, however, both investment value and job creation have become even more marginal in the most recent years.
Looking at the geography of FDI sources, Figure 3 shows the countries of origin by value of total investment over the whole 2003-2022 period. The rising integration of Cambodia in the wider Asian macro-region is evident: Japan, China and Singapore record the biggest increases in investment inflows in the second decade, all overtaking Malaysia – the largest source during the whole 20 years observed – both in terms of FDI values and job creation. To be noted, France, playing no role as an investor in the 2003-2012 period, emerged as a source of FDI in Cambodia in the second decade. Conversely, sizeable reductions in both FDI values and jobs are recorded in the most recent years for South Korea and Vietnam, whilst USA investors register a modest decline in the amount invested but stability in jobs generated over time.
Figure 3: IFDI value by source country between 2003-2012 and 2013-2022
Although the dynamics of the subnational distribution of IFDI across Cambodia’s provinces confirm the strong geographical concentration in Phnom Penh (Iammarino, 2022), some changes are worth noting. Whilst Preah Seihanu (ranked second on the overall period) shows a moderate decline in IFDI in the most recent decade, Kampong Speu, Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey all register remarkable increases in their attractiveness to foreign investors. Interestingly, some provinces such as Preah Vihear, Kep and Kandal emerge as brand-new locations for IFDI in most recent years, possibly indicating a relative spread of the geography of inward FDI and some territorial spillover effects over time.
Outward FDI from Cambodia
Considering outward FDI (OFDI) from Cambodia, some key tendencies can be identified:
- OFDI started only from 2008 onward, with no investment recorded in the fDiMarkets dataset before then. All investments are classified as new greenfield investments abroad, with one exception categorised as an expansion (in 2014, to Myanmar).
- 31 OFDI projects from Cambodia, equivalent to 917.6 million USD and associated with an estimate of 1,659 jobs generated abroad, are reported over the 2008-2022 period.
- OFDI from Cambodia occurred across three of the five GVC stages. Headquarters overwhelmingly dominates, accounting for 84% of all OFDI in the years 2008-2022 and being the only stage of outward investment until 2012. This likely reflects the emergence of active internationalisation strategies from large Cambodian companies. More recently, OFDI occurred only in production and sales suggesting the consolidation of firms’ efficiency- and market-seeking strategies.
- All OFDI originates from the capital Phnom Penh.
- Financial services are the dominant sector of origin of OFDI, representing around three quarters of total OFDI value over 2008-2022.
In conclusion, internationalisation will possibly continue to grow, also as a result of the market expansion of large Cambodian companies, the economic integration processes in the Asian macro-region, and the re-configuration of GVCs. The critical nexus sector-function in FDI and GVCs indicates that understanding the detailed structure and evolution of local-global networks should be a central reflection for creating opportunities for upgrading Cambodian production and technological capabilities.
- Hing, V. (2023). The Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Cambodia’s Trade, Global Value Chains and Export Competitiveness, CDRI Working Papers on COVID-19 no. 2.
- Iammarino, S. (14 Sept. 2022). FDI trends and policies in Cambodia: a preliminary note, CDRI: https://coc2022.cdri.org.kh/fdi-trends-and-policies-in-cambodia-a-preliminary-note/
- Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC). 2023. “Pentagonal Strategy Phase I for Growth, Employment, Equity, Efficiency, and Sustainability: Building the Foundation towards Realizing the Cambodia Vision 2050” Phnom Penh: RGC.
- UNCTAD (2018, 2023). World Investment Report, UNCTAD, Geneva.
- UN-ESCAP (2020). Promoting inward and outward foreign direct investment in the post-coronavirus-disease era. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Nov. 2020.