DTIS update
WTO accession

Along with domestic stakeholders and development partners, the EIF has supported Cambodia in building its national capacity to formulate, implement, manage and monitor a pro-poor trade policy. Cambodia has developed a Trade Sector-wide Approach Roadmap (Trade SWAp Roadmap) which serves as the country's trade strategy and sets out prioritized reforms and actions for improving Cambodia's trade performance and promoting diversification and inclusive growth. The Trade SWAp Roadmap also identifies 10 priority sectors for trade development, of which the EIF is currently supporting five: milled rice, high value silk, fisheries, cassava and hospitality.

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The main objective of this project is to enhance Cambodia's national capacity to formulate, implement, manage and monitor a pro-poor trade policy that is consistent and supportive of the country's National Strategic Development Plan.


  • The Cambodia Trade Integration Strategy (CTIS) update 2014-2018 and SWAp Roadmap Update 2014-2018 were launched by Cambodia's Prime Minister in February 2014.
  • The 2016-2020 Medium-term Programme (MTP) for the implementation of Cambodia's Trade SWAp was prepared by UNDP. It takes stock of the progress of implementation of Cambodia's Trade SWAp Roadmap 2014-2018, reviews areas already receiving technical support, and identifies and prioritizes areas where additional technical assistance is necessary for advancing the implementation of the Roadmap in the next five years. The private sector, federations and associations were actively involved in the formulation of the MTP.
  • A significant result of the MTP formulation is the priority list of the top 10 clusters for future Trade-related Technical Assistance to Cambodia. 5 project concept notes were developed and shared with Development Partners.
  • The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) will use the MTP and project concept notes to mobilize Aid for Trade in support of the continuing implementation of its Trade SWAp Roadmap 2014-2018.
  • The Multi-Donor Trust Fund – also known as Trade Sector Development Program (TDSP), has significantly contributed to Trade SWAp Pillar Roadmaps Goal 1: Reform and Cross-Cutting Issues for trade Development. As a result, 28 projects have been approved and implemented by different implementing agencies since March 2009. TDSP has been extended until August 2016 with extra funding provided by the European Union (EU) (US$3.1 million).
  • Several training activities took place in 2015. 21 beneficiaries (14 men, 7 women) participated in domestic training (English, project management and M&E), 40 beneficiaries (30 men, 10 women) participated in M&E and Communications training, and 59 beneficiaries (42 men, 17 women) participated in training for Communications for EIF and TDSP Programs.
  • The fifth NIU Exchange Programme (Cambodia – Lao PDR – Myanmar) was held in December 2015 in the Siem Reap province.
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High Value Silk

The High Value Silk Project of the Cambodia Export Diversification and Expansion Program (CEDEP) I, which ended in March 2016, aimed to promote high-value silk exports. The goal was to increase the competitiveness of the Cambodian silk sector to create jobs, particularly for women, support export diversification, reduce poverty and boost income growth. Cambodian companies participating in the High‑Value Silk Project benefited from individual coaching, advisory support and training to develop their products and markets. They also received support to establish business contacts worldwide and develop long-term partnerships.

Milled Rice

Rice is the largest employment sector of the Cambodian economy. The project is seeking to increase the competitiveness of Cambodian rice exports, which will result in better earnings for rice millers and farmers in the milled rice supply chain. With the support of the project, Cambodian Rice Millers are successful completing export contracts by meeting Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) standards requested by importers, especially with respect to fragrant rice, which is the leading Cambodian rice brand.


High Value Silk

  • 100% increase in weavers’ monthly average income from silk weaving from 2012 to 2014.
  • 88 new jobs created by the 14 project beneficiary companies since 2012.
  • 168 weavers newly contracted by the 14 project beneficiary companies since 2012.
  • 74% increase in exports of Cambodian silk products by the 14 direct project beneficiaries between 2012 and 2014.
  • 46% increase in the sales value of silk products sold to tourists between 2012 and 2014.
  • Business linkages created with more than 300 prospective buyers in five markets (EU, US, Japan, Australia and New Zealand).
  • 127 new silk products designed by 13 companies.
  • 11 trade fairs/marketing missions and 7 study tours facilitated by the project.
  • 1 SME registered as Guaranteed Fair Trade Organization by the World Fair Trade Organization.
  • 11 reports and studies on import markets, silk sector value chain, silk yarn sourcing.
  • The Cambodia National Silk Strategy was finalized and a roadmap for its implementation defined under the leadership of the Silk Sector Development and Promotion Commission.

Milled Rice

  • 538,396 tons of rice were exported in 2015 from Cambodia, valued at US$376,877,200.
  • The project facilitated US$72,497,774 of rice exports over the January-December 2015 period (with fragrant rice accounting for more than half of the facilitated exports). This brings the value of the project’s total rice export facilitation efforts to US$146,618,197 as of December 31, 2015.
  • Cambodian Milled Rice Standards have been developed and endorsed by the Government.
  • The branding strategy for Cambodian rice was endorsed by the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF).
  • 3 technical working groups formed with support of the project (Rice Standard Technical Working Group; Export Promotion Working Group; and Global Market Access Exco).
  • Market Potential analyses and trade information has been developed for six new markets (US, China, Singapore, Ivory Coast, France and Germany).
  • 3 new markets procured Cambodian rice (US, EU, China).
  • 3 food safety manuals (GMP, HACCP and ISO 22000) and one occupational health and safety manual (OHS) have been developed. Training sessions were also held.
  • 376 exporters and export-ready millers participated in 9 trade fairs and key buyer-sellers meetings.
  • 39 exporters and export-export ready millers participated in trade missions (4 for the US; 25 for the EU and France; and 10 for China and Hong Kong).
  • 11 rice mills have received the HACCP food safety certification. 
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Royal Academic of Culinary Arts (RACA)

Tourism is a highly competitive sector worldwide. In Cambodia, there is a shortage of qualified kitchen staff, and employers often need to turn to workers from other countries. Cambodia needs more skilled workers in the hospitality sector in order to compete in the tourism sector.

The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) project has two main objectives: 

  1. Cambodian hotel and restaurant operators improve the quantity and quality of their services through improvements in the number and quality of trained Cambodian kitchen staff available in the labour market.
  2. The Cambodian Government and Representative Organizations from the Hospitality Sector have put in place a governing and financial model that ensures the long‑term financial and technical sustainability of the RACA, independent of the financial support of Development Partners.


Cambodia is ranked the third biggest exporter of cassava in the world, but has yet to capture more value added from the sector. The vast majority of Cambodian cassava exports go to China, meaning that Cambodia is highly vulnerable to shifts in Chinese demand. Many Cambodian cassava exports are first absorbed by Vietnam and Thailand, and Cambodia would benefit from direct access to more diversified markets.

Other challenges faced by Cambodian cassava exporters include high transportation costs, with long distances from farms to ports, and limited capacity to ensure frequent supply of cassava at the quantity required and technical capacity to access export markets.

The project will move forward in market diversification, with emphasis on effective approaches to providing capacity building to cassava associations and expanding capacity building to exporters/processors, while also pursuing sustainability.

Marine Fisheries

Cambodia’s marine fishery sector employs thousands of people, but is almost entirely artisanal and traditional with no major domestic processing facilities. Most exports are done informally, while formal exports are composed primarily of less value‑added products such as live mentis shrimps. Cambodia’s fish exports are well behind the neighboring countries like Vietnam and Thailand in the global market. This is mainly due to country’s poor institutional climate and lack of quality infrastructure.

The Government of Cambodia has identified marine fisheries as a key sector for export diversification. This project will help ensure that the needs of the marine fisheries product export sector are better understood, improve the business environment, and restructure the sector so that key players can play an active role in the national policy dialogue.


Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (ACAC) of Cambodia

  • A building has been contributed rent free for five years from the private sector to the Ministry of Tourism, who is in turn contributing this building to the ACAC. The refurbishment of the building for the use of the ACAC began in 2015. Architectural, kitchen and engineering design have been completed, and some internal structures have been demolished.
  • A Head of Culinary Arts Teacher has been recruited.
  • A baseline survey of hotels and restaurants in the area of kitchen and related staff is being developed, focusing on skill needs and sanitary standard needs. This will feed into curriculum development.
  • A mixed governing board has been formed to lead the ACAC, using the approach of a public-private partnership. The ACAC Board held its first meeting in August 2015.
  • The Swiss Hotel Management School (Lucerne) visited Cambodia in November 2015 to provide technical assistance on the curriculum and management systems development.


  • A value chain study focusing on the export of cassava chips and processed cassava (starch, flour, ethanol) is being finalized. It is scheduled for completion by the end of February 2016.
  • 8 local cassava associations were successfully formed in target areas under the leadership of the MoC.
  • The eight cassava associations participated in a workshop on the roles and functions of cassava associations in September 2015 (50 men, 20 women) and a workshop on contract farming and its application in the cassava sector in June 2015 (70 men, 20 women).
  • 60 cassava export and processing companies participated in a cassava sector dialogue forum organized with the Department of Private Sector Development in the MoC. 

Marine Fisheries

  • The key issues affecting the marine fishery sector were identified and a roadmap for value chain development was completed. Fishery value chain development has been integrated into a draft of the Strategic Planning Framework for Fisheries (2015-2024).
  • SPS needs assessment of four processors were carried out. This is an important step in making these processors export ready.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment at field was completed in September 2015. All issues and mitigation measures are being compiled.
  • The final draft of a trade facilitation manual has been produced.
  • Fishery-related standards have been assessed. Codes of Practices are being jointly developed by the Institute of Standards of Cambodia and MI (UNIDO) to complement existing standards. Training provided to officials to equip them with good knowledge and background of standard as well as codes of practices development.
  • 129 people participated (114 men, 15 women) participated in five trainings/workshops on topics including standard development, environmental impact assessment, value chain assessment

Secretary of State and EIF Focal Point Ministry of Commerce Phnom Penh

Kemvichet Long
Deputy Director Department of International Cooperation Ministry of Commerce Phnom Penh

Lydet KIM
Deputy Chief Officer Department of International Cooperation Ministry of Commerce Phnom Penh

Kannha Mao
M&E National Consultant Phnom Penh

Fiona Ramsey
Donor Facilitator, Delegation of the European Union to the Kingdom of Cambodia

Marta Neves Abrantes
Attaché, Trade and Private Sector Development, EU Delegation to Cambodia

Rithi Pich
Ambassador, Permanent Representative WTO

Khim Samitt
Chief of ASEAN Dialogue Partners Office

Tith Rithipol
Deputy Permanent Representative

Suon Prasith
Deputy Director General Ministry of Commerce, General Department of International Trade

Trade and Gender

Meet a young woman from Cambodia who received silk production training through an EIF project

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