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Germany and Cambodia: Bilateral relations Cambodia

15.10.2021 - Article

The Federal Republic of Germany and Cambodia have had diplomatic relations since 1967, although these relations were interrupted between 1969 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 development cooperation between the two countries.

German development cooperation focuses on rural economic development, strengthening the healthcare system and decentralisation. During the intergovernmental negotiations in May 2021, Germany pledged development aid totalling 71.3 million euro for the improvement of living conditions in Cambodia.

Germany is also supporting the work of the Khmer Rouge war crimes tribunal with projects on reconciliation and humanitarian de‑mining. 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.

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. Funds for 2018 and 2019 were thus provided in the form of preferential loans, which were used for rural roads and power grids. Economic relations between the two countries are close. Germany’s prime imports from Cambodia are textiles and shoes, with well-known German recipients including Adidas, Puma, Deichmann, C&A, Aldi, Lidl and Tchibo. 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. The agreement is designed, among other things, to protect companies from expropriation without compensation and to secure the free transfer of foreign exchange.

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 seconded by 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.

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