Cambodia undertook early the initiative to get preferential access to major markets in the world. This includes many bilateral trade agreements as well as the membership in ASEAN respectively AFTA and WTO, the latter as just the second Least Developed Country (after Nepal). This increasingly favorable institutional setting had a strong impact on Cambodia’s trade integration and economic development. A Long-term analysis of Cambodia’s economic growth makes obvious that Cambodia’s dynamic economic development in the past decade can be attributed to a large extent to international trade.
Cambodia economic growth is depending on the fourth main engines is manufacturing (garment/footwear), construction, tourism and agricultural sector where about 80% of Cambodian earned their living so far. A strong dynamics in agricultural sector, however, is rather based on yield improvements than on access to new markets. Cambodia's currently main export destination includes the United States (currently dominant due to the garment sector), EU states under EBA scheme, Canada, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and China (PRC) (leading country in tourism). Vietnam and Thailand are either not represented or vastly underrepresented in many official statistics due to extensive information trade but are clearly large importers of Cambodian goods.