The Southeast Asia Department of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is systematically updating sector assessments, strategies, and road maps (ASRs)1 to better harmonize program and project planning with member countries and development partners. The preparation of this transport ASR is an integral part of project planning to ensure coordination between Cambodia’s priorities and those of ADB’s Strategy 2020 and the ADB Sustainable Transport Initiative (ADB 2010h). This sector ASR also provided the basis for dialogue between the Royal Government of Cambodia, the ADB Transport and Communications Division, and the ADB resident mission in developing the ADB country partnership strategy for 2011–2013.
The ASR on Cambodia’s transport sector focuses mainly on roads and railways, but also considers urban transport. The important role of airports and water ports is discussed as well. The report was developed primarily through consultations with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT), which manages the national and provincial road networks and the railways; the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD), which manages rural roads; and development partners working in the transport sector.
Cambodia currently has four drivers of growth: agriculture, tourism, manufacturing (mainly garments for export), and commercial and residential construction. With the exception of agriculture, each of these sectors suffered a severe downturn during the global financial crisis of 2008–2009, and this likely contributed to an increase in poverty (ADB 2010g). Expansion and diversification of Cambodia’s drivers of growth, especially agriculture, are important development objectives for the government.
Efficient transport is critical for economic growth. The agriculture sector relies on road and sea transport for exports; the tourism sector relies on international air carriers and road transport; the construction sector relies on water and road transport for delivering construction materials; and industry (primarily garment manufacturing) relies on road and water transport to deliver the materials needed for manufacturing and to export finished products.
The two main transport subsectors in terms of passenger and freight volumes are roads and railways (Japan International Cooperation Agency [JICA] 2006). The ports, both inland (Phnom Penh) and on the coast (Sihanoukville), play an important role in the transport sector, as do the three international airports (Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville).2 Rehabilitation and further development of the transport sector are being undertaken to improve access and connectivity, both domestically and subregionally, as part of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) initiative, and regionally, as part of the road and rail connectivity objectives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The largest subsector is road transport. In 2007, Cambodia’s road vehicles totaled 1,066,192— 273,243 cars and light vehicles such as motorcycles and auto-rickshaws; 4,067 buses; 37,098 trucks; and 511 other vehicles (National Institute of Statistics 2008). Since 2007, the annual growth rate for all categories of vehicles has been an estimated 5.1%.
ADB.December 2011.Type: Country Planning Documents.Country: Cambodia.Subject: ADB administration and governance; Transport and ICT. ISBN:978-92-9092-413-5 (print), 978-92-9092-414-2 (web).
For more information about Projects in Cambodia see SOUTHEASTERN ASIA Projects