Social Investment Landscape

Cambodia

Cambodia has an early-stage social economy with significant growth potential given increasing interest from social investors and intermediaries

Summary

Executive Summary

Cambodia sustained an impressive average GDP growth rate of 6.6% in the decade between 2007- 2017. Despite the relatively narrow base of the economy (driven primarily by garment exports, tourism and agriculture), Cambodia attained lower-middle-income status in 2015. Economic growth is projected to remain strong in 2018 and 2019, underpinned by tourism and fiscal expansion. Economic diversification, good quality public governance, environmental sustainability and human capital development are key priorities for the country to sustain growth and achieve inclusive development.

The social economy in Cambodia is still in its infancy but, with increasing interest from social investors and intermediaries, has significant growth potential. While institutional philanthropy is a recent phenomenon, partnerships between foundations and other stakeholders in the social economy are proliferating. Cambodia is also seeing a burgeoning impact investing scene, having attracted 45% of all private impact investment capital deployed in Southeast Asia between 2007-2017. Meanwhile, corporate impact venturing is gaining traction as large companies such as ANZ Royal Bank, Smart Axiata and Cellcard focus on fostering social entrepreneurship.

Cambodia’s Fact File

Cambodia’s 2018 Fact File

16 million

Population

USD 64 billion

GDP (PPP)

World Rank 102

7.1%

GDP Growth

USD 4,009

Per capita GDP (PPP)

World Rank 147

134 98 in 2016

World Giving Index Rank

29%giving money 6%volunteering time 18%helping a stranger

14%

Poverty

94/137

Global Competitiveness Index

Global Competitiveness Rank (2016-2017) – 89/138

138/190

Ease of Doing Business Rank

Ease of Doing Business Rank (2018) – 135/190
Source: ADB, Charities Aid Foundation, Credit Suisse, World Economic Forum, World Bank. Figures are accurate as of March 2019

Dashboard

SDG Dashboard

While Cambodia has made significant strides in poverty alleviation, around 4.5 million people remain economically vulnerable. The Southeast Asian country continues to grapple with multiple development challenges, especially in terms of nutrition, healthcare, access to water, sanitation, energy and climate change. 32% of children under 5 years old in Cambodia are stunted, significantly higher than Southeast Asia’s average of 26%. Only 30% and 69% of the rural population have access to improved sanitation and water, respectively, compared to 90% and 80% of urban residents.
In 2013, the Royal Government of Cambodia formulated the Rectangular Strategy – Phase III as the primary blueprint supporting the country’s vision to become an upper-middle-income country by 2030. Phase III focuses on 4 key policy objectives: (i) sustainable agricultural development, (ii) improved physical infrastructure, (iii) private sector development and productive employment, and (iv) high-quality human resource. The National Strategic Development Plan 2014-2018 lays out key performance indicators for Phase III until 2018 for areas including: poverty, agricultural productivity, improvement in health and nutrition, education access and completion, water, sanitation, roads, environmental sustainability and gender equity.

Source: sdgindex.org (2018)

Note: The “traffic light” colour scheme (green,yellow, orange, red) illustrates how far a market is from achieving a particular goal

Government Initiatives

Government Initiatives to Address Development Gaps

Agriculture

SDG Goals

Gap

  • Small farmers make up 48% of rural households and remain vulnerable to poverty.
  • The prevalence of stunting is high: 32% of children under 5 years old in Cambodia are stunted.

Government Initiatives

  • The National Strategy on Food Security and Nutrition 2014-2018 outlines an action plan to improve food security and reduce child and maternal malnutrition through more productive and diversified agriculture production.
  • The Fifth Legislature of the National Assembly 2013-2018 aims to maintain the targeted agricultural growth of 5% per annum.

Climate action

SDG Goals

Gap

  • Cambodia has been ranked among the most vulnerable countries to climate change (12/172 countries in the 2018 World Risk Index). Its long coastline and central low-lying plains are highly prone to sea level rises, resulting in severe economic losses.

Government Initiatives

  • The National Strategic Plan on Green Development 2013-2030 aims to attract green investors in renewable energy and enhance sustainable management of natural resources.
  • The Cambodia Climate Change Strategic Plan 2014-2023 emphasises promoting low-carbon technologies and enhancing climate resilience for key ecosystems including Tonle Sap and the Mekong River.

Education and employability

SDG Goals

Gap

  • Cambodia’s net enrolment in primary education dropped to 93% in 2016 from 97% in 2012.
  • The country’s lower secondary completion rate of 48% is significantly lower than the East Asia and Pacific average of 92%.

Government Initiatives

  • Cambodia’s “Education for All” strategy aims to improve the quality and effectiveness of education services at all levels.
  • The country also plans to enhance human resource capacity in science and technology, especially in priority sectors including agriculture, industry, energy, physical infrastructure, information and communication technology, health care and environment.

Energy access

SDG Goals

Gap

  • Only half the Cambodian population has access to electricity.
  • The country’s domestic electricity supply remains low compared to its Southeast Asian neighbours.

Government Initiatives

  • The Cambodian government plans to extend electricity to all villages by 2020 and to 70% of all households across the country by 2030.

MSME development

SDG Goals

Gap

  • Only half the Cambodian population has access to electricity.
  • The country’s domestic electricity supply remains low compared to its Southeast Asian neighbours.

Government Initiatives

  • The Cambodian government plans to extend electricity to all villages by 2020 and to 70% of all households across the country by 2030.

MSME development

SDG Goals

Gap

  • Micro enterprises account for over 97% of all enterprises but provide only 30% of jobs.
  • Close to 99% of micro enterprises are informal and not officially registered.

Government Initiatives

  • The country’s industrial development plan 2015-2025 outlines promoting enterprise registration, providing training and linking MSMEs to large enterprises and multinational corporations as key policy measures to foster MSME development.

Social Economy

Cambodia has an early-stage social economy with significant growth potential given increasing interest from social investors and intermediaries

DEAL SHARE PLATFORM

Deal Share in Cambodia

ATEC: Decarbonising Cooking at Scale in Asia and beyond

By ATEC Australia International PTY LTD.

ATEC exists to decarbonize cooking at scale in Asia & Africa. Through ATEC’s patented electric and biogas stove technology, households access paygo debt while generating data-validated carbon credits.

Climate Action and Environment, Energy, Health

Street Business School (SBS) plans to certify 8-10 organisations serving people in extreme poverty in South East Asia to provide SBS entrepreneurship training to up to 3,600 women in their communities.

Education, Gender, Livelihood and Poverty Alleviation

ASSIST Asia: HERO-SEA Project for Healthcare Workers in Southeast Asia

By Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST)

The HERO-SEA project seeks to address the well-being of the healthcare workers (HCWs) in Southeast Asia who are at the forefront of fighting global pandemics and other health crises through mental health and resiliency skills development.

Education, Employability, Health

Hagar International is helping female survivors of human trafficking and slavery to receive career counselling and business planning assistance as part of their healing process, strengthening their financial security.

Employability, Financial Inclusion, Livelihood and Poverty Alleviation

Issara Institute aims to end labour exploitation, including forced labour and human trafficking, by transforming the systems and behaviours perpetuating labour exploitation, and empowering rights-holders in Southeast Asia.

Livelihood and Poverty Alleviation

We aim to ensure access to high quality, inclusive, and youth-centred life skills and financial literacy for all children and young people worldwide, especially to the most vulnerable.

Education, Employability, Financial Inclusion

The Asian University for Women (AUW) seeks to educate and empower women who will become skilled and innovative professionals, service-orientated leaders in their businesses and communities, and promoters of sustainable development in Asia.

Education, Gender

Mekong Dam Monitor

By Stimson Center Southeast Asia Program

The Mekong Dam Monitor uses remote sensing processes to provide unparalleled, near-real time reporting on reservoir and river conditions to communities and decision makers in the Mekong Basin.

Agriculture, Climate Action and Environment, Energy, Governance

Case Studies

Case Studies in Cambodia

Livelihood and Poverty Alleviation

Participatory Water Management in Arid Kachchh

Agriculture

Women Farmers who Teach Sustainable Agriculture

Agriculture

Transforming Drought-Prone Aurangabad with Water Resilience

Agriculture

A Funding Platform for Small-Scale Producers Building Climate Resilience

Agriculture

Urban Farms to Cool Cities, Lower Emissions and Grow Nutritious Food

Livelihood and Poverty Alleviation

Enhancing Farm Livelihoods by Climate Proofing the Hills of Himachal Pradesh

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China

China’s social economy is quickly maturing, with a high concentration of new wealth, a growing number of social investors and recent government commitments to create a conducive ecosystem

Hong Kong

The social economy in Hong Kong is growing rapidly with strong government support, a well-established philanthropic culture and increasing corporate sustainability efforts

India

The Indian social economy is one of the most advanced in Asia, driven by collaborative social investment, a relatively developed impact investing market and an engaged corporate sector

Indonesia

The Indonesian social economy is transitioning from being one largely based on a tradition of religious giving to one growing in its engagement with impact and sustainable investing and green finance

Japan

The social economy in Japan is one of the most mature in Asia driven by professionally managed foundations, increased interest from mainstream investors and innovative investment models

Malaysia

Malaysia’s government agencies and supportive sustainable finance policies, coupled with its status as a leader in Islamic finance, indicate the high growth potential for this developing social economy

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Social Investment Landscape in Asia