How Many Chinese Companies Are in Cambodia?

As of October 2020, it’s noteworthy that the Chinese presence in Cambodia's business landscape has grown significantly. The Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia boasts a membership of over 200 companies, encompassing major state-owned banks and enterprises, as well as stock-listed and private-owned companies. This surge in Chinese businesses operating within the Cambodian market highlights the deepening economic ties between the two countries. With the continued influx of Chinese investment and the favorable conditions offered by Cambodia's business environment, it’s evident that the Chinese business community plays a prominent role in contributing to the country's economic growth and development. As such, understanding the scale and influence of Chinese companies in Cambodia is crucial in comprehending the dynamics of the country's business sector.

Why Do Chinese Invest in Cambodia?

Chinese investments in Cambodia have seen a significant upswing in recent years, with bilateral ties between the two countries growing stronger. The reason behind this surge lies in Cambodias strategic location and the Chinese governments ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). As China expands it’s influence across Southeast Asia, it’s actively sought to enhance it’s trade relations, build infrastructure, and stimulate local economies in countries such as Cambodia.

Another factor contributing to Chinese investment in Cambodia is the upgrading of local wealth. Chinese companies are investing in sectors such as real estate, tourism, and manufacturing, which not only generate economic benefits for Cambodia but also create job opportunities and improve living standards for local communities. This approach aligns with Chinas broader foreign policy strategy of win-win cooperation, aiming to foster mutual development and prosperity.

The Cambodian government has implemented various measures, including tax incentives and streamlined administrative procedures, to encourage foreign investment. These initiatives have been well-received by Chinese companies, who see Cambodia as a conducive environment to do business.

The Belt and Road Initiative and It’s Impact in Cambodia: How China’s Ambitious Infrastructure Project Is Driving Investments in Cambodia and Shaping the Country’s Economic Development.

The Belt and Road Initiative is a major economic development strategy led by China. It aims to enhance connectivity and promote economic cooperation among countries along the ancient Silk Road routes. In Cambodia, this initiative has had a significant impact on the country’s economic development.

China’s ambitious infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges, ports, and railways, are driving investments in Cambodia. These projects aren’t just enhancing the country’s transportation and logistics capabilities, but also attracting Chinese companies to invest in various sectors.

Many Chinese companies have invested in Cambodia’s energy, telecommunications, tourism, manufacturing, and real estate industries. These investments have led to job creation, transferred technology and knowledge, and contributed to Cambodia’s economic growth.

The Belt and Road Initiative has also strengthened the political and diplomatic ties between China and Cambodia. It’s deepened their cooperation in various fields, including trade, tourism, education, and cultural exchanges.

Overall, the Belt and Road Initiative has been instrumental in shaping Cambodia’s economic landscape, attracting investments, and fostering closer ties between China and Cambodia.

However, it’s important for foreigners interested in owning a business in Cambodia to understand the legal requirements and procedures involved.

Can a Foreigner Own 100% of a Business in Cambodia?

Can a foreigner own 100% of a business in Cambodia? Absolutely. Unlike some of it’s neighboring countries, the Cambodian government is very pro-business and permits the establishment of 100-percent foreign-owned companies. This favorable policy has helped attract a significant number of foreign entrepreneurs and investors to Cambodia, contributing to the countrys economic growth.

Interestingly, many of these businesses operate discreetly under the radar of the authorities. This may be due to a variety of reasons, such as avoiding bureaucratic red tape, minimizing taxes, or simply maintaining a lower profile. While this may raise concerns about the legality and transparency of these operations, it’s a reality that exists in Cambodias business landscape.

Moreover, there are instances where foreign entrepreneurs choose to take over existing businesses that have already completed the necessary paperwork to operate legally. By acquiring these businesses, foreigners can navigate the administrative requirements more smoothly and avoid potential pitfalls. This strategic approach enables them to establish and maintain businesses without having to go through the entire process from scratch.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that some businesses may operate outside the legal framework, which could affect transparency and compliance. Nevertheless, many foreign-owned businesses in Cambodia operate successfully and contribute positively to the local economy.

The Process of Establishing a 100% Foreign-Owned Company in Cambodia

  • Understand the legal requirements for setting up a foreign-owned company in Cambodia.
  • Choose a unique name for your company.
  • Prepare the necessary documents, including articles of incorporation, memorandum of association, and other required forms.
  • Obtain a Certificate of Incorporation from the Ministry of Commerce.
  • Apply for a Tax Identification Number (TIN) at the General Department of Taxation.
  • Register with the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training for employment compliance.
  • Open a corporate bank account in Cambodia.
  • Obtain any necessary business licenses or permits for your specific industry.
  • Comply with the legal requirements for company registration, such as having a physical office in Cambodia and appointing a local resident as a director or shareholder.
  • Ensure ongoing compliance with Cambodian laws and regulations, such as filing annual tax returns and maintaining proper corporate records.

Source: Starting a business in Cambodia

Penh Water Supply Authority, Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone, Phnom Penh Autonomous Port, Cambodia Export-Import Inspection and Fraud Repression Directorate General, and Agriculture and Agro-Industry Development. These state-owned enterprises play significant roles in various sectors of the Cambodian economy, including energy, telecommunications, transportation, and development.

What Are the State Owned Companies in Cambodia?

H Penh Water Supply Authority, Telecoms Regulator of Cambodia, Cambodia Tobacco Company, Agence Kampuchea Presse, Cambodia Airlines, and Sihanoukville Power. These SOEs cover a wide range of industries including energy, transportation, telecommunications, finance, logistics, and media.

These state-owned companies play a crucial role in Cambodias economic development and are often seen as strategic assets for the government. For example, Electricite du Cambodge is responsible for the generation and distribution of electricity throughout the country, ensuring that the growing demand for power is met. Sihanoukville Autonomous Port is one of the main gateways for international trade, handling the import and export of goods.

Telecom Cambodia provides telecommunications services, including landline and internet, while Cambodia Shipping Agency and Cambodia Postal Services handle the logistics and delivery of goods and mail respectively. The Rural Development Bank provides financial services and loans to support rural development projects, while the Green Trade Company promotes environmentally friendly and sustainable trade practices.

The government also owns media companies such as Agence Kampuchea Presse, the national news agency, and Cambodia Airlines, which is the countrys flag carrier. These companies contribute to the development and promotion of Cambodias media and tourism industries.

In recent years, there’s been a noticeable increase in the presence of Chinese companies in Cambodia. These companies, both state-owned and private, have invested heavily in various sectors including real estate, agriculture, manufacturing, and infrastructure development. Chinese investment has played a significant role in Cambodias economic growth, contributing to job creation and boosting the countrys GDP.

The Belt and Road Initiative, a Chinese development strategy that aims to enhance connectivity and cooperation between countries, has further facilitated the entry of Chinese companies into Cambodia. This initiative has provided a platform for Chinese companies to invest in infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, and ports, benefiting both countries.

Government’s Role in Developing State-Owned Companies in Cambodia

The government of Cambodia plays a significant role in developing and supporting state-owned companies within the country. These companies are often seen as engines for economic growth and job creation, and are crucial to the government’s efforts to boost industrialization and improve Cambodia’s overall economic standing.

Through various policies and initiatives, the government provides financial support, technical assistance, and regulatory frameworks to promote the growth and competitiveness of state-owned enterprises. This support can include preferential access to financing, land and infrastructure, as well as assistance in acquiring necessary licenses and permits.

Additionally, the government actively encourages partnerships between state-owned enterprises and foreign investors to stimulate investment, technology transfer, and knowledge exchange. This helps state-owned companies to expand their operations, enhance their capabilities, and remain competitive in both domestic and international markets.

Overall, the government’s involvement in developing state-owned companies in Cambodia reflects it’s commitment to fostering economic development and creating a favorable business environment for these enterprises to thrive.

Cambodia’s imports from China have been diversified, encompassing a wide range of products. These include raw materials crucial for the garment industry, machinery, vehicles, foodstuffs, electronics, and medicines. The ongoing trade relationship between the two countries has allowed Cambodia to meet it’s domestic demands and support various sectors of it’s economy.

What Does Cambodia Import From China?

Cambodia is heavily dependent on imports from China to meet it’s economic needs. The country relies on China for a variety of products, including raw materials for it’s booming garment industry. China supplies the textiles and fabrics necessary for the production of clothing, making it a crucial partner for Cambodias textile and apparel sector.

Additionally, Cambodia imports machinery and vehicles from China to support it’s growing industrialization. The machinery is used in various sectors such as manufacturing, construction, and agriculture, while vehicles help facilitate transportation and logistics within the country.

Foodstuffs also make up a significant portion of Cambodias imports from China. This includes agricultural products like rice, vegetables, and fruits, as well as processed food items. Chinas diverse range of food products allows Cambodia to meet it’s domestic demand and maintain a stable food supply.

Furthermore, Cambodia imports electronics from China to cater to it’s expanding consumer market. This includes appliances, smartphones, computers, and other electronic devices that are in high demand among Cambodian consumers. Chinas reputation as a manufacturing hub for electronics makes it a favorable trading partner for Cambodia.

Finally, Cambodia relies on China for the importation of medicines and pharmaceutical products. This is vital for Cambodias healthcare system, as it ensures the availability of essential drugs and medical supplies.

The bilateral trade relationship between the two countries plays a crucial role in supporting Cambodias economic growth and development.

The strong relationship between China and Cambodia extends beyond economic ties, as China has also strategically cultivated military and diplomatic relationships with the Southeast Asian nation. This has resulted in China gaining access to sea ports in Cambodia, providing an opportunity for China to exploit oil reserves in the nearby Gulf of Tonkin. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has openly declared China as Cambodia’s “most trustworthy friend,” highlighting the extent of their alliance.

Is Cambodia a Chinese Ally?

China has been investing heavily in Cambodia, making it a strategic ally in the region. Chinese assistance has played a significant role in Cambodias development, offering infrastructure projects and economic support. This is evident in the numerous Chinese companies operating in Cambodia. These companies have contributed to the countrys economic growth and provided employment opportunities for the local population.

Chinas influence in Cambodia goes beyond economic cooperation. The two countries share strong diplomatic ties, with China being described as Cambodias “most trustworthy friend” by the Prime Minister. China has also fostered military relations with Cambodia, providing military assistance and conducting joint military exercises.

The Impact of Chinese Investment on Cambodian Society and Culture

Chinese investment has had a significant impact on Cambodian society and culture in recent years. With the increase of Chinese companies in Cambodia, there’s been a visible transformation in various sectors of the country. Chinese investment has led to the development of infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, and special economic zones, contributing to the modernization of the country’s physical infrastructure.

Moreover, Chinese companies have played a significant role in the growth of Cambodia’s tourism industry. They’ve invested in large-scale hotel and resort projects, attracting more tourists and boosting the economy. However, this influx of Chinese tourists has also brought about some challenges, including the need for better management of waste and preservation of cultural heritage sites.

The increasing presence of Chinese businesses has also influenced Cambodian society. Chinese language schools and cultural centers have been established to cater to the growing Chinese community, contributing to the diversification of Cambodia’s cultural landscape. Additionally, Chinese investment has created job opportunities for Cambodians, reducing unemployment rates and improving living standards for some.

However, there have been concerns about the social and cultural impacts of Chinese investment in Cambodia. The rapid expansion of Chinese businesses has led to an increase in land prices, displacing local communities and causing socio-economic inequalities. Some argue that Chinese investment has also contributed to cultural assimilation, as Cambodian traditions and values are influenced by Chinese businesses and practices.

In conclusion, the influx of Chinese companies in Cambodia has brought both positive and negative impacts on society and culture. While infrastructure development and economic growth have occurred, challenges such as environmental sustainability and cultural preservation need to be addressed to ensure a balanced and sustainable future for Cambodia.


In conclusion, the presence of Chinese companies in Cambodia has witnessed significant growth and diversification in recent years. With over 200 members in the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, these companies span a range of sectors including banking, SOEs, stock-listed firms, and POEs. Their investments and contributions to Cambodia's economic development can’t be overlooked. As Chinese companies continue to expand their operations in the country, it’s crucial for both Cambodia and China to maintain a balanced and mutually beneficial partnership that promotes sustainable growth and addresses any potential challenges that may arise.

Scroll to Top