More information about Cambodia is available on the Cambodia page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
Over the last several decades of the 20th century, the United States and Cambodia established, broke off, and reestablished relations as a result of armed conflict and government changes in Cambodia. Full diplomatic relations were established after the freely elected Royal Government of Cambodia was formed in 1993. Since 2017, the pace of democratic backsliding in Cambodia has accelerated, as evidenced by the increase in the number of opposition members, journalists, and human rights activists detained, arrested, prosecuted, and imprisoned. Cambodia has shifted from a flawed but improving multiparty democracy with an independent media and vibrant civil society to a de facto one-party—and increasingly authoritarian—state intolerant of dissent. The United States regularly calls on the Cambodian government to take meaningful steps to restore democracy and reopen the Kingdom’s political and civic space. Our two countries do work together in areas of shared interest, including non-proliferation, law enforcement, child protection, humanitarian demining, POW/MIA accounting, public health, food security, addressing climate change and natural resource management, education, countering trafficking in persons, and peacekeeping.
U.S. Assistance to Cambodia
With U.S. support, the Kingdom has experienced two decades of robust economic growth and made significant progress in advancing its sustainable development goals, including reducing poverty and clearing millions of mines and unexploded ordnance. Today, foreign assistance from all sources makes up between 20 and 25 percent of the central government’s budget. Between 2018 and 2021, U.S. foreign assistance programs, in health, education, governance, economic growth, and clearance of unexploded ordnance and landmines totaled over $338 million.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Cambodia’s economy is growing and, until the COVID-19 pandemic, was among the fastest growing in the world. The economy is heavily dollarized; the U.S. dollar and Cambodian riel can be used interchangeably. While the United States is not a major source of investment for Cambodia, it is Cambodia’s largest single export market, and the country has benefitted greatly from the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. Manufacturing output is concentrated in the garment, footwear, and travel goods sectors, which dominate Cambodia’s exports, especially to the United States and the European Union.
Cambodia’s Membership in International Organizations
Cambodia became a member of the United Nations in 1955 following its independence from France in 1953. Cambodia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the UN, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Cambodia became a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1999 and will next assume the Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2022.
More information about Cambodia is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: