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India – Cambodia bilateral relations

India – Cambodia bilateral relations


Cambodia-India relations, also referred to as Cambodian-Indian relations, embody the bilateral ties between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Republic of India. This article delves into the historical, diplomatic, and economic aspects of the relationship, showcasing the longstanding connection between these two nations and their shared commitment to mutual growth. 

Historical Roots

Ancient Ties: The historical roots of Cambodia-India relations run deep. India’s influence on Cambodia is evident in the Hindu-style temples of Angkor Wat and the presence of written Khmer, a script derived from the Pallava script of southern India. 

Non-Aligned Movement: Both Cambodia and India are proud members of the Non-Aligned Movement, underscoring their commitment to independent foreign policy and non-alignment with major power blocs. 

Diplomatic Outreach: India’s formal diplomatic relations with Cambodia date back to 1981 when it opened its embassy in Phnom Penh, marking a significant step in their diplomatic engagement. This gesture was particularly noteworthy as Cambodia was facing international isolation at the time. 

Cultural Heritage: India’s support in preserving the iconic Angkor Wat temple is a testament to the cultural and historical connections between the two nations. India’s financial contribution of around $4 million for conservation between 1986 and 1993 highlighted their shared commitment to heritage preservation.

Trade and Investment Relations

Economic Growth: Cambodia has witnessed steady economic growth, with a notable average rate of 7.5 percent in 2018, driven by sectors such as agriculture, construction, tourism, and garment and footwear industries. 

Trade Dynamics: In 2018, Cambodia’s total trade reached US$27.51 billion, with exports amounting to US$12.29 billion and imports at US$15.22 billion. Asia remains a significant trading partner, contributing to approximately 91.23 percent of Cambodia’s total imports. 

Key Exports: Cambodia’s primary exports include garments, footwear, rubber, textiles, fish products, and agricultural goods, with major destinations being the United States and the European continent. 

Bilateral Trade Promotion: To enhance trade and business relations, India and Cambodia have jointly organized events like the India-CLMV Business Conclave and the Incredible India Road Show in Cambodia. These efforts aim to boost trade, connectivity, and economic ties. 

Investment: Indian investment in Cambodia amounted to US$19.8 million in 2016. Several Indian companies have invested in sectors ranging from gold mining to automobiles, further strengthening economic relations. 

Mekong-Ganga Cooperation: Economic collaboration between Cambodia and India is facilitated through frameworks like the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation and the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement, which promote mutual prosperity. 


Cambodia-India relations are rooted in a shared history and a commitment to economic growth and cultural exchange. Their diplomatic engagement, economic collaboration, and mutual support in heritage preservation demonstrate the enduring bonds between these two nations.

To know more about bilateral relations between India and Cambodia, please download our booklet.

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