Cambodia has achieved steady economic growth since 2010, averaging 7% a year. The country has also become more integrated within Southeast Asia. This has been accompanied by increasing emigration, mostly to neighbouring countries, as well as greater volumes of remittances. As the social and economic importance of migration has grown, the country has begun to place more emphasis on enhancing the links between migration and development.

In 2013, the OECD Development Centre and the European Commission began a project to provide empirical evidence on the interrelations between public policies, migration and development (IPPMD) in ten countries around the world, including Cambodia. This report, which presents Cambodia’s findings, is the result of four years of fieldwork, empirical analysis and policy dialogue conducted in collaboration with the Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI), and with strong support from the Ministry of Interior.

The analysis takes a two-pronged approach: on the one hand it explores how various migration dimensions affect key policy sectors, namely the labour market, agriculture, education, and investment and financial services. On the other hand it analyses the influence of sectoral policies on migration outcomes, such as the decision to migrate, the use of remittances and the success of return migration. The empirical analysis draws on quantitative data collected from 2 000 household and 100 community surveys across eight Cambodian provinces. It was enriched by 28 qualitative stakeholder interviews, as well as discussions with key stakeholders and policy makers in Cambodia.

This report is published in parallel with nine other country reports – presenting the findings in the other IPPMD partner countries – and a comparative report. The comparative report provides a cross-country overview drawing on the data and analysis conducted in the ten partner countries. The Cambodia report is intended as a baseline for improving understanding of the role of public policies in the migration and development nexus in Cambodia. It also aims at fostering policy dialogue and providing guidance on how best to integrate migration into national development strategies. The OECD Development Centre and CDRI look forward to continuing their co-operation to enhance the positive contribution of migration to the sustainable development of Cambodia.

Mario Pezzini

Director of the Development Centre and Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Development, OECD

Chhem Rethy

Executive Director Cambodia Development Resource Institute