Centre for Development Economics and Trade

The Centre for Development Economics and Trade (CDET) conducts applied and policy researches focusing on Cambodia’s economy, trade and regional cooperation. We monitor Cambodia’s economic management and performance; provide evidence-based economic policy analysis; and engage in local and regional dialogues to inform policymaking. Our research has a strong link to national policies, particularly the Rectangular Strategy (Phase IV) and the National Strategic Development Plan (2019-23). Specifically, we contribute to two pillars of the NSDP: Economic Diversification, Private Sector and Market Development; and Sustainable and Inclusive Development. Our delivery mechanism includes policy and academic research, capacity building, knowledge dissemination and sharing, and policy influence and outreach. Our research agenda falls within five broad development areas: economic development, focusing on sustainability and inclusion; trade and regional cooperation; private sector development, focusing on small and medium enterprises; employment and employability, with a cross-cutting theme on gender and youth; and data for research and development (D4RD). We have extensive experience on regional cooperation and research projects, working with think tanks and research institutes in ASEAN and the Mekong region. The Greater Mekong Subregion Research Network (GMS-Net) is an example of such collaboration.

Opportunity Case 3: Livelihood Resilience in Rural Villages

The Asia Foundation | Ponlok Chammes | Australia Aid

CDRI has been conducting the Moving out of Poverty (MOP) survey since 1996/1997 in 3 village household samples and this sample have been extended 11 villages across 7 provinces by 2020. CDRI surveys the same 1000 households eve...

The Study on "Gendered Barriers to Digital and Green Economy in Cambodia"

Asian Development Bank

Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) often face challenges in utilizing digital technologies despite the vital roles of these technologies in business development. In particular, female-led MSMEs are less likely to u...

20 Years of FDI in Cambodia: Towards Upper Middle-Income Status and Beyond

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

The assessment of the development potential of inward FDI (IFDI), and its complementarity with outward FDI (OFDI), in terms of creation/destruction and specialisation/diversification of national, regional and local economic act...

Cambodia Vision 2030: An Assessment of Cambodia's Upper-middle-income Target for Resilient, Inclusive and Sustainable Gr...

Cambodia Australia Partnership for Resilient Economic Development (CAPRED) | Australia Aid

Inspired by the high and sustained economic growth of the past decades that lifted disposable income and pulled millions of people out of poverty, the Cambodian government has set its ambitious target of becoming an upper middl...

Best Practices and Opportunities for Enhancing Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Cambodia

AEM-METI Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee

The innovation and entrepreneurial activities have multiplied recently, with many new companies emerging in various industries. However, start-ups face many challenges, such as access to talent, idea, markets, and funding. Creat...

Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) Policy Scoping Study – Cambodia

United Nations Institute for Training and Research

PAGE is a joint initiative of the ILO, UNDP, UNEP, UNIDO and UNITAR. It was launched in 2013 to support countries in building economies that are environmentally sustainable. The initiative leads and assists partnering countries i...

Study on Tourism MSME and ‘New Normal’ Economic Revival: The Role of Digital Technologies

The Asia Foundation

Digital technologies have evolved at breakneck speed and spread, changing not only the digital ecosystem but also the way economy, trade and business are functioning. Massive digital transformation and its associated broad benefit...

Strengthening Cambodia’s Post-Pandemic Recovery and Competitiveness Pathways

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

Over the last 20 years, the Kingdom of Cambodia has made remarkable progress in creating an enabling environment for business and investment, making the country favourable for foreign direct investment (FDI) in the region and crea...

Strengthening E-commerce Cooperation to Promote Business to Business and Business to Consumers under AHKFTA: A Case Stud...

Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC), Lao PDR

Following the establishment of the ASEAN-Hong Kong, China Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA), the Chapter on Economic and Technical Co-operation (ECOTECH) work program has been implemented. It is created as a reference document for imp...

Five Priorities for a Green and Inclusive Economic Transformation in Cambodia

During the First PAGE National Steering Committee in Cambodia, PAGE also presented a summary brief outlining five priorities that serves as a roadmap for policymakers and stakeholders to identify the obstacles and opportunities for fostering a green economic transition in Cambodia: Unlocking private and public finance More evidence on different growth pathways Integrating circular economy pri...

Changing Effects of Birth Order on Education Over Time: Evidence from Cambodia

Despite the vast literature on birth-order effects in developing countries, there has been little research on their long-term changes. This study uses three population censuses of Cambodia to investigate how birth order affects educational attainments and how its effects changed over time. We estimate regressions with family fixed effects and cohort fixed effects, and present four findings. First,...

CDRI   (2023)

How the Pandemic Affected the People Who Make Our Clothes

The garment industry in developing countries suffered huge disruptions during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, with economic and social consequences that continue today. In addition to the direct effect of lockdowns, which decreased exports, the industry was severely impacted by its reliance on global imports of fabrics, raw materials and accessories. Although recovery is well underway, some busin...

Connecting the Dots in TVET in Cambodia: Stakeholders and their Collaboration

Collaboration between training providers and the industry is crucial for a responsive technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system. It not only alleviates the skill mismatch problem but also contributes to better quality training provision and increases the employability of TVET graduates. Based on the findings from the “Skills for Industry” research project conducted from 2017 to...

Lessons Learned from Mobilising Research for Impact During the Covid-19 Pandemic

During the Covid-19 pandemic, research organisations have strived to be resilient. This means navigating through the technical, operational, and political challenges to achieving successful research implementation. Particularly for local policy research thinktanks, the pandemic has made these challenges even more difficult to address. From the experience of the Cambodia Development Resource Instit...

The Current State and Role of Digital Technology Adoption in Tourism MSMEs in Cambodia

The majority of businesses in Cambodia are micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which account for 99.9 percent of all businesses and a sizable portion of employment in the private sector. The adoption of digital technology (DT) among Cambodian MSMEs is still uneven and relatively low, despite the fact that it has become an essential component of successful business operations. T...

HING Vutha   (2023)

Evaluating the Role of Digital Technology in Boosting MSME Productivity in Cambodia's Tourism Sector

This research examines the impact of digital technologies on the productivity of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Cambodia's tourism sector. Drawing from extensive survey data, the study confirms that higher DT investments correlate with increased productivity. Notably, MSMEs at the intermediate level of DT integration experience a marked 16 percent productivity increase compared to basic DT...

Impact on the Lives and Livelihoods of Factory Workers during COVID-19

This study analyses the impacts of COVID-19 on the lives and livelihoods of workers in the garment, textile and footwear manufacturing in Cambodia, a sector which employed approximately 800,000 people (80 percent of whom were female) and contributed about 70 percent to the country’s annual total export value prior to the pandemic. The analysis examines potential disproportionate effects of the...

Improving the Business Environment in Cambodia

In 2020, Cambodia experienced a negative growth rate for the first time in two decades. As a country susceptible to small changes in the global economy, it grew increasingly obvious that Cambodian businesses need a more solid foundation to grow and diversify. Most businesses in Cambodia are small and medium enterprises (SMEs) but they significantly contribute to the country’s employment, domestic...

HING Vutha   (2023)

The Effects of COVID-19 on the Export Industry and Comparative Advantage of Cambodia

The repercussions of COVID-19 resulted in global disruptions to supply and demand as well as shocks to the global production networks. This paper employs a trade analysis approach to assess the impacts of coronavirus on Cambodia’s export performance. Utilising Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA) index, changes were analysed using data pre-and post-pandemic to explore the Kingdom’s competitiveness...

The Third Technical Workshop on the Cambodia's Vision 2030

25 March 2024

The CDRI organised the third technical workshop on the Cambodia's Vision 2030 study to refine research findings and identify the key policy options which are crucial for the country's goal of becoming an upper-middle-income nation through resilient, inclusive, and sustainable growth. The gathering of diverse stakeholders, including government officials, development partners, private sector representatives, civil society organisations, and researc...

CDRI Podcast Series Episode 6: Shaping Cambodia’s Development Landscape: The Role of Research Evidence for Resilient and Inclusive Economic Development

12 March 2024

As part of a regional project on “Impact of COVID-19 on Inclusive Development and Governance: Rapid and Post-Pandemic Assessment in the CLMV,” CDRI finally released Podcast Series Episode 6 on Shaping Cambodia’s Development Landscape: The Role of Research Evidence for Resilient and Inclusive Economic Development. In this podcast, we had Mr Khoun Theara, Socio-Economic Policy Specialist at UNDP Cambodia as our guest speaker to discuss the pivotal...

An Inception and Consultation Workshop on Gendered Barriers to Digital and Green Economy in Cambodia

06 March 2024

Gender differences in utilising digital technologies with business industries and pursuing STEM education have become a prevalent issue that needs to be addressed for enhancing digital and green capacity of female-led industries including increasing females undertaking careers in the field of STEM. Recognising these challenges, CDRI’s Economics Centre has been very active in addressing these disparities by conducting research into the gender-spec...

Technical Workshop

08 February 2024

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has significantly impacted Cambodia’s economic transformation. The country has shifted from a planned agricultural-based economy to a free-market structure, with low-tech industries like textiles, garments, tourism, construction, real estate, and agriculture driving growth. Moving forward, Cambodia faces challenges in maximising FDI benefits. To ensure long-term economic sustainability and enhance its position i...

Regional Symposium on “The Greater Mekong Subregion’s Economic Recovery: The Uncertainty of External Events and Inclusive Development”

22 November 2023

The Greater Mekong Subregion countries, which have been severely affected by the pandemic-induced recession, have been exerting significant efforts to devise and implement new policies and measures to restore their economic growth and development. The new economic growth agenda includes issues such as promoting international trade and trade negotiations, enhancing the business environment, nurturing domestic firms, encouraging direct foreign inve...

CDRI Researchers Visiting the Lowy Institute, Sydney, Australia

06 November 2023

From November 6 to November 10, 2023, CDRI's researcher team embarked on a collaborative endeavour with their counterparts at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia. The primary focus of this joint effort was to contribute to CDRI’s study project on "Cambodia Vision 2030: An Assessment of Cambodia's Upper-middle-income Target for Resilient, Inclusive and Sustainable Growth", funded by Australia’s flagship economic development program, the Cambod...

Book Launch on Agricultural Trade between China and the Greater Mekong Subregion Countries: A Value Chain Analysis

25 August 2023

On 25 August 2023, CDRI organised a book launch event at Raffle Hotel Le Royal to present its latest publication on "Agricultural Trade between China and the Greater Mekong Subregion Countries: A Value Chain Analysis". This special book aims to Identify the key actors and their interactions along the value chain.Compare the non-tariff measures (NTMs) implemented by Mekong-Lancang countries (MLC) and their impact on trade.Explore the exporters' or...

The Launch of Report “Demand for and Supply of Digital Skills in Cambodia”

14 December 2021

On the morning of 14th December 2021, Our researchers from the Centre of Economic Development and Trade and Centre for Educational Research and Innovation have delivered a presentation in the official launch of the report on “Demand for and Supply of Digital Skills in Cambodia”. Under cooperation with Cambodia Academy of Digital Technology (CADT) and financially supported by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication, the Russian Federations and...

Blog – Effect of Covid-19 Pandemic on Women

10 December 2021

Author: Dr. Kyoko Kusakabe, Professor of Gender and Development Studies at Department of Development and Sustainability, School of Environment, Resources and Development, Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand and Adviser to the IDRC Project on the Impact of Covid-19 on Inclusive Development and Democratic GovernanceOn the occasion of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, it is important to highlight how the pandemic has exac...

Participation in Ponlok Chomnes National Policy Forum, Cambodia’s COVID-19 Recovery Pathway

25 November 2021

On the 23rd and 24th of November, our project members participated in the National Policy Forum, organized and supported by The Asia Foundation and Australian Aid under Ponlok Chomnes Program. The forum brought think tanks, practitioners, and policymakers to discuss emerging issues and solutions under the theme “Cambodia’s COVID-19 Recovery Pathway”. It also aims to promote the culture of knowledge sharing and evidence-based policymaking in Cambo...

15 Aug


The 2nd Southeast Asia Economic Research and Development

15 Aug 2024 - 16 Aug 2024
08:00 AM 05:00 PM

Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia, Siem Reap

DescriptionThe economic history of Southeast Asia unfolds is a tale of resilience, adaptation, and transformation. Over centuries, trade, migration, and cultural exchange have left enduring imprints on the region’s economic landscape. From the mercantile empires of Srivijaya and Majapahit to the lasting legacies of European colonialism, Southeast Asia has been a crucible of economic experimentation and innovation. In the modern era, rapid industr...

13 Mar

CDRI Podcast Series Episode 6

Shaping Cambodia's Development Landscape: The Role of Research Evidence for Resilient and Inclusive Economic Development

13 Mar 2024
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

As part of a regional project on “𝐈𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐂𝐎𝐕𝐈𝐃-19 𝐨𝐧 𝐈𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐃𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐩𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐆𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞: 𝐑𝐚𝐩𝐢𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐏𝐨𝐬𝐭-𝐏𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐜 𝐀𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐋𝐌𝐕", the Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI) is pleased to present our Podcast Series Episode 6 on “𝐒𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐂𝐚𝐦𝐛𝐨𝐝𝐢𝐚’𝐬 𝐃𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐩𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐋𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐬𝐜𝐚𝐩𝐞: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐑𝐨𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡 𝐄𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐄𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐜 𝐃𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐩𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭.” Our host, Ms. Muth Sumontheany, Research Associate of Cambodia Developmen...

06 Mar

Inception and Consultation Workshop on "Gendered Barriers to Digital and Green Economy in Cambodia"

Inception and consultation Workshop on "Gendered Barriers to Digital and Green Economy in Cambodia"

06 Mar 2024
08:30 AM - 05:01 PM

Phnom Penh

With the increasing importance of digital technologies to our lives, we have seen digital divide between men and women in many societies, regardless of their living standards. Cambodia is not an exception. Gender differences in utilizing digital technologies among firms and pursuing STEM education have been recognized as the critical issues that should be addressed. In contributing to the policy discussion over these key challenges, Centre...

07 Jun

Launching New Publications

CDRI Working Paper Series on COVID-19

07 Jun 2023
08:30 AM - 01:30 PM

Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh

To celebrate the official release of Working Paper Series on COVID-19, CDRI, in partnership with Ministry of Economy and Finance and Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), is pleased to launch these new publications series on 7th June at Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh from 08:30 am to noon.This workshop will be joined by more than 100 participants from government ministries, institution, international and local organisations, academia, civil...

05 Dec

Regional Forum

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Mekong Subregion: An Emphasis on Social Protection and Economic Inclusion

05 Dec 2022
08:30 AM - 05:00 PM

Oakwood Premier Phnom Penh / Zoom

On Monday 5th December 2022, CDRI with financial support from International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada and in partnership with the Centre for Economic and Social Development (CESD) and the Centre for Analysis and Forecasting (CAF), is organizing a regional forum on “The Impact of COVID-19 on the Mekong Subregion: An Emphasis on Social Protection and Economic Inclusion”. This regional forum is part of the research project and serve...

12 Nov

Podcast Series - Episode 5

Women-led SMEs and post-COVID-19 situation

12 Nov 2022

As part of a regional project on “Impacts of COVID-19 on Inclusive Development and Governance: Rapid and Post-Pandemic Assessment in the CLMV", the Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI) is pleased to present CDRI Podcast Series Episode 5 on “Women-led SMEs and post-COVID-19 situation”. Our host, Ms. Muth Sumontheany, Research Assistant of CDRI conversed with H.E. Okhna Moha Oubaseka Keo Mom, the President of Cambodia Women Entrepreneurs...

29 Sep

Global Event

Stakeholder Meeting of the Multi-Country r4d Research Project «Skills for Industry»

29 Sep 2022
Cambodia-Korea Cooperation Centre (CKCC)

On Thursday 29th of September, Cambodia development resource institute and Zurich university of teacher education co-organized a Stakeholder Meeting of the Multi-Country r4d Research Project «Skills for Industry» at Cambodia-Korea Cooperation Centre. The research project is financially supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Swiss National Science Foundation under the Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for...

03 Jun

Podcast Series - Episode 4

Australian Support And View on Cambodia’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Effort And Development

03 Jun 2022

As part of a regional project on “Impacts of COVID-19 on Inclusive Development and Governance: Rapid and Post-Pandemic Assessment in the CLMV”, the Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI) is pleased to present CDRI Podcast Series Episode 4 on “Australian support and view on Cambodia’s COVID-19 economic recovery effort and development”. Our host, Dr. Eng Netra, Executive Director of CDRI moderated the discussion with Ambassador Pablo K...

24 Dec

Podcast Series – Episode 3

COVID-19 and workers in the informal economy: perspectives and prospects from a non-governmental organisation

24 Dec 2021

As part of a regional project on “Impacts of COVID-19 on Inclusive Development and Governance: Rapid and Post-Pandemic Assessment in the CLMV”, the Cambodia Development Resource Institute is pleased to present episode #3 of our Podcast Series on “COVID-19 and workers in the informal economy: perspectives and prospects from a non-governmental organisation”.Our host, Mr Roth Vathana sat with Mr Vorn Pao, President of the Independent Democracy of In...

20 Sep

Internal Sharing Session

Preliminary Baseline Results on Impacts of COVID-19 in the Mekong Subregion

20 Sep 2021
09:00 AM - 12:35 PM

Virtual (Zoom)

On September 20, 2021, researchers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam met to present preliminary baseline survey results on the impact of COVID-19 on socio-economic wellbeing of women, vulnerable groups and micro, small and medium enterprises. The meeting is a part of the COVID-19 research project funded by the International Development Research Centre, Canada. The team received constructive comments from senior program officer of IDRC and...