Cambodia’s transport infrastructure and logistics services have been improved expanded. The corridor linking Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville port is the main national trade route, while that linking Bangkok-Phnom Penh-Ho Chi Minh City is the main international corridor. Major national roads and international highways connecting Cambodia to neighbouring countries may be in good shape, but roads linking rural areas to major cities and urban transport systems are less developed. The railway system is a weak link in Cambodia’s regional connectivity. Port efficiency has improved, but shipping costs remain high.
Highly dependent on tourism and garment exports, Cambodia’s economy has been heavily hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Royal Government of Cambodia (ROC) has continued its efforts to transform Cambodia from a lower-middle-income country to an upper-middle-income country by 2030.
Cambodia’s advantage is its geographic location, in the central point of the Great Mekong Sub region (GMS). An efficient transport connectivity will help Cambodia to position itself in both the regional and global supply chain by linking the different GMS Countries. The corridor linking Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville port is today the main national trade route, while that linking Bangkok-Phnom Penh-Ho Chi Minh City is the main international corridor.
With the adoption of Cambodia Industrial Development Plan 2015-2025 (IDP), the ROC identified the improvement of transport infrastructure and logistics services as essential to Cambodia’s economic growth since 2015. In October 2016, the General Department of Logistics (GDL) was established within the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT). By recognizing the necessity of logistics sector, the National Logistics Council (NLC) and the National Logistics Steering Committee (NLSC) were also established by the Royal Decree in November 2017.
The “Interim Master Plan on Intermodal Transport Connectivity and Logistics System” was completed and approved by NLC in January 2020 in order to promote the implementation of relevant essential projects for short-medium-long term. Some projects identified in the Master Plan have already been implemented with significant progress, but more investments remain to be done for Cambodia to compete with Thailand and Vietnam lower logistics cost.
Major national roads connecting Cambodia to neighbouring countries have now been brought into international standards, and main corridors have also been improved in the last decades, while many roads have been now paved with asphalt. The roads linking rural areas to major cities and urban transport systems are still less developed and easily affected during the raining season; the railway system has improved but remain a weak link in Cambodia’s regional connectivity and if port efficiency has improved, the shipping costs remain high. The aviation sector has been much affected by the pandemic but major projects are still progressing.
Cambodian Government in the process to complete the hight way connect from Sihanouk Ville Port to the main City of Phnom Penh, the new International airport construction is underway. The new International Airport plan to complete by 2050.