Germany and Cambodia: Bilateral relations

15.02.2024 - Article

Diplomatic relations between Cambodia and the Federal Republic of Germany were established in1967, and suspended between1969 and 1993. Cambodia and the German Democratic Republic maintained diplomatic relations from 1969 to 1975 and from 1979 until the reunification of the two German states.

Germany actively supports Cambodia’s development and democratisation process. The cornerstone of relations is the extensive official and non-governmental development cooperation between the two countries. To date, over 540 million euro have been pledged for official development cooperation.

The core themes of development cooperation are “health and social security”, “responsibility for our planet – climate and energy”, and “training and sustainable growth for good jobs”. Other projects address food security and improving public services. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development pledged grants totalling 73 million euro at the intergovernmental negotiations in October 2023. In addition, it directly supports the Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s residual mechanism and funds reconciliation projects. Other Federal ministries, such as the Environment Ministry and the Economic Affairs Ministry, have made further ODA pledges.

Germany also supports humanitarian de-mining in the country. Landmines and unexploded ordnance from the civil war years still constitute a hindrance to economic development. Cambodia aims to have cleared all mines by 2025 with the help of the international community.

German cultural policy in Cambodia focuses on supporting the preservation of the country’s cultural heritage, developing the education sector with the aid of a long-term German lecturer from the German Academic Exchange Service, and bringing German culture to Cambodia through the work of the Cambodian-German Cultural Association (KDKG) and the Meta House. The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, which is investigating the Khmer Rouge years, receives German support.

The country has been classified as a lower middle-income economy since 2016. This economic success is also reflected in the way development cooperation is operated. Economic relations between the two countries are close. Germany’s prime imports from Cambodia are textiles and shoes. The German business community in Cambodia has formed the group “German Business Cambodia” within the European chamber of commerce, EUROCham.

A bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement between Germany and Cambodia entered into force in 2002.

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