Cambodia has a growing middle class due to its young population and rising income levels. An increasing number of Cambodia’s urban residents are willing to pay for quality products, and Cambodia’s emerging middle class is beginning to demand goods that elevate their current level of comfort and convenience.
Net leasable area in retail properties is expected to double from 2020 to 2025, with the launch of at least 32 new retail properties within the next four years1. This has fostered a growing appetite for brands and experiences in malls and shopping areas. Thus, there are opportunities for Singapore companies with unique retail offerings and experiences to enter the market.
1 The Mall Company, 2020, “Retail Real Estate Market Overview”
COVID-19 has accelerated Cambodia’s shift towards a digital economy, resulting in rapid growth of Cambodia’s digital infrastructure. Cambodia has a mobile penetration rate of over 128%, with approximately 71.3% of the total population being active social media users as of 20212. This increased digital connectivity has resulted in a general shift towards the use of e-commerce platforms and social media, generating increased opportunities for businesses to meet consumer demand for their products through online channels. The Cambodian government plans to focus on developing tech startups and SMEs, with a view to prepare the country for the digital economy by 2023.
In November 2019, Cambodia enacted e-commerce and consumer protection law which serves to facilitate and regulate the growth of the digital sector3. There has been a growth of e-commerce platforms in the country, including many private-run e-commerce platforms and a government-backed e-commerce platform (Cambodia Trade.com). In light of the rapid growth in the e-commerce ecosystem by the private sector, the Cambodia government has also launched the E-commerce Strategy in November 20204, in order to promote the sustainable growth of e-commerce through effective public sector facilitation. The fast-growing e-commerce landscape in Cambodia provides opportunities for companies with unique digital solutions in advertising, digital media, digital marketplaces, e-commerce, fintech (digital payments, peer-to-peer lending), and other development services.
2 Datareportal, Digital 2021: Cambodia, 2021
3 Tilleke & Gibbins, 2019
4 UNDP, E-commerce Strategy, 2020
With 50% of the total population under the age of 225, the demand for education services in Cambodia is high. Many Cambodians recognise the importance of education in securing better employment opportunities, and higher education in Cambodia has been growing rapidly with considerable private sector and international-donor investment. However, the quality and diversity of education, in particular vocational training, remain low. There is significant demand for all types of education, and Cambodian private universities are looking for international partners to increase the quality and competitiveness of their courses. There are opportunities for Singapore companies to provide specialised, pre-school, elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education, as well as professional vocational training to mid-level workers.
5 World Population Review, 2021