Cambodia - Country Commercial Guide
Selling Factors and Techniques
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Letters of credit are the most commonly used method to facilitate payments and are preferred over bank guarantees, cash in advance, and open accounts.   Other payment methods such as forward exchange contracts, standby letters of credit, foreign currency loans, and import and export letters of credit can be tailor-made to an individual importer or exporter.  Instruments and methods of payment offered by banks vary, ranging from import and export documentary collections, documentary export and import credits, open account, consignments, cash-in-advance, and guarantees.  For large-scale business transactions, exporters and importers are required to have bank guarantees, such as shipping, bid, payment, advance payment, performance, and retention money guarantees.  Private commercial banks provide trade finance services and have foreign correspondent banks in the United States, Europe, Asia, and elsewhere.  Not all Cambodian commercial and specialized banks, however, handle trade finance.  Commercial banks in Cambodia may use an external credit rating agency, such as Standard & Poor’s or Moody’s.

Trade and investment financing is available through most foreign bank branches and local banks.  There is a large but unmet demand for loans to local small and medium enterprises (SMEs).  Most loans are short term and provide working capital to traders.  In 2022, the average interest rate on a Khmer riel-denominated loan increased to 12.2 percent from 11.4 percent in 2021, and the average interest rate on a U.S.-dollar loan increased to 10 percent from 9.7 percent in 2021.  For the private sector to access commercial loans for private projects, collateral or other forms of guarantees are required.  Through financial leasing, small and medium investment projects can get capital lease assets from leasing firms. 

In 2009, the United States determined that Cambodia was no longer a Marxist-Leninist economy, as defined under section 2(b)(2B)(i) of the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945, removing the long-standing determination that had prohibited the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) from providing financing in Cambodia.  Ex-Im Bank now offers financing for the purchase of U.S. exports for private-sector buyers in Cambodia for the short-term (repayment up to one year) and the medium-term (repayment from one to seven years).  Ex-Im Bank’s support is typically limited to transactions with a commercial bank functioning as an obligor or guarantor.  Ex-Im Bank’s first trade financing deal in Cambodia took place in May 2018, involving rice miller Amru Rice, with financing around $345,000.

Cambodia is a member of the World Bank as well as a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) of the World Bank, which offers political-risk insurance to foreign investors.  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other banks, such as the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), have provided loans to finance the government’s public investment programs.   Cambodia has also received loans, grants, and technical assistance from the ADB, focused on infrastructure, including roads, railroads, and irrigation; the energy and power sectors; private-sector development; health; and education.  The U.S. government maintains a commercial liaison office at ADB headquarters in Manila, which reports directly to the Office of Multilateral Development Banks at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington.  It assists U.S. companies in bidding on contracts and activities funded by the ADB.  The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in late 2020 approved its first sovereign-backed financing to Cambodia to support the government’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic