Cambodia is in the process of rehabilitating and expanding its infrastructure, principally with assistance from international donors. Given the current poor condition of the country’s infrastructure, construction and engineering services will be in high demand for the foreseeable future. Public works and transportation, including the national road network, are a high priority for the Cambodian government. The total investment in infrastructure in Cambodia is estimated to be as high as $16 billion from 2013 to 2022. Infrastructure investment is generally state-led and mostly financed by foreign assistance grants and loans. In addition to infrastructure construction, Cambodia has witnessed a major boom in residential and commercial construction over the last decade. Numerous residential and commercial development projects are underway, such as mixed-use towers, shopping malls, and suburban commercial-residential developments.
In 2022, there were 4,276 construction projects worth approximately $2.9 billion, a decrease of around 44 percent compared to 2021.
|Total Value of Approved Construction Projects
|Construction materials imported
|Exchange Rate: 1 USD
Unit: USD thousands
Data Sources: Annual Report, Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, Ministry of Economy and Finance
*Note: Construction materials include construction equipment, steel, and cement.
The PRC government, Japanese government, World Bank, and Asian Development Bank are the most active in road, bridge, and railway construction in Cambodia. The Cambodian government has also offered Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) concessions to several foreign companies to rehabilitate portions of Cambodia’s badly degraded national highway system.
Cambodia is building two new international airports – a $1.1 billion airport in Siem Reap opening in October 2023 and a $1.5 billion airport in Phnom Penh scheduled to open in 2025. Because there are limited funds in the national budget to pursue such projects, Cambodia has offered BOT concessions for renovating provincial airports as well.
Cambodia opened its first expressway – a $2 billion project connecting capital city Phnom Penh to coastal Sihanoukville – in late 2022. A few other major infrastructure projects are in the planning process, including an expressway connecting Phnom Penh to the Vietnam border and an expressway and high-speed railway system linking Phnom Penh to the Thailand border.
The establishment of several special economic zones (SEZs) presents significant opportunities for development of power, water, and road infrastructure within these areas. Intended to attract manufacturing and export-oriented companies, SEZs are located near the borders of Thailand and Vietnam and in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, and Kampot.
The main sources of foreign expertise and construction materials for large commercial and residential projects are the PRC, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore; however, high quality American materials and fixtures are sought by urbanites and foreign residents in Cambodia.
Prospects exist in road and commercial construction working with international donors and private companies. Construction materials and heavy construction machinery are also needed to support this sector.