Cambodia: Challenges and Options of Regional Economic Integration - Conference Papers
Conference Paper 3 - October 1998
Chan Sophal, Toshiyasu Kato, Long Vou Piseth, Jeffrey Kaplan, Kun Nhem, James Robertson, Harold Pohoresky
  Conference Paper 3 in English, 90 pp. (
out of prit, photocopies may be ordered
   Conference Paper 3 in Khmer, 132 pp. 9,000r ($2.50)


Cambodia’s membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations has been attracting keen interest since its official application to become a full member in April 1996. What impact will membership have on Cambodia’s economy? What challenges will it pose to policy-making in Cambodia? What options does the Cambodian government have to meet those challenges? These questions are timely and relevant, and yet little substantial research has been undertaken to answer them. There has been a feeling since the application that more information would need to be generated to ground public debate and policy-making on solid economic research and empirical evidence.

It was in this regard that the Cambodia Development Resource Institute launched a research project on Cambodia’s regional integration in January 1997. As an integral part of the project, CDRI held an international conference on 27 and 28 October 1997 in Phnom Penh. The conference created a forum for discussion concerning Cambodia’s membership in ASEAN, and particularly the economic implications of the ASEAN Free Trade Area. The conference gathered many participants from government, research institutes, multilateral and bilateral donor agencies and NGOs in Cambodia.

The current volume is a collection of the five research papers on Cambodia presented at the conference. These papers were written by experts who had been undertaking research and/or who were involved in policy-making regarding ASEAN issues in Cambodia. These proceedings cover a broad range of issues, from legal and institutional aspects to macro-economic management and fiscal policy, trade and industrial policies, and sustainable development. The discussions in the volume are also illuminated and deepened by the opening speech of H.E. Keat Chhon, Senior Minister in Charge of Rehabilitation and Development and Minister of Economy and Finance, and a special guest lecture delivered at the end of the conference by H.E. Cham Prasidh, Minister of Commerce.

Cambodia’s membership in ASEAN was indefinitely postponed after the fighting of 5 and 6 July 1997. There are some indications to believe, however, that both ASEAN and Cambodia are committed to realising the ASEAN-10, with the inclusion of Cambodia, towards the end 1998. It is a great pleasure to offer these conference proceedings to the public at this juncture. We hope that the current volume will contribute to accumulating knowledge and information, encouraging policy discussions and debate, and stimulating future research regarding Cambodia’s economic integration with ASEAN and the world economy.

Eva Mysliwiec, Director
(September 1998)

(excluding appendices and bibliographies)


Chapter One - Cambodia in the regional economy: a cross-country study
(Chan Sophal, Toshiyasu Kato & Long Vou Piseth)

Land and population
Economic development
Social development

Chapter Two - Cambodia’s ASEAN membership: the institutional and legal challenges
(Jeffrey Kaplan)

Institutional reform
Legal reforms related to ASEAN

Chapter Three - Membership in ASEAN: public finance and tax reform in Cambodia
(Kun Nhem)

Cambodia’s macro-economic performance
Participation in AFTA and its challenges
Tax reform

Chapter Four - Cambodia: strengthening the foundation for trade and industrial development
(James Robertson & Harold Pohoresky)

Review of trade performance
Trade policy issues arising with AFTA/CEPT

Chapter Five - Regional integration for sustainable development in Cambodia
(Toshiyasu Kato)

Regional economic integration
Foreign trade and investment
Key issues and challenges
Policy options