Shaping the Future of German-Cambodian Relations

von Dr. Raimund Weiß, Robert Hör
'Shaping the Future of German-Cambodian Relations' is the second publication of KAS Cambodia on the relationship between Germany and Cambodia. With this second version, the publication brings various discussions on political, economic, and socio-cultural relations of the two countries, while looking forward to the stronger relations and lighter future between the two with critical policy recommendations. Subscribe to the publication for detailed content.

Executive Summary


Cambodian and German stakeholders overall rated German-Cambodian relations to be

balanced, perceived them as generally positive, and to have development potential on the

political, economic and cultural levels, even though the political level is perceived as the most

challenging. The cooperative development partnership continues to be a solid foundation to

further enhance relations.


German and Cambodian stakeholders share interests and values to deepen economic and

socio-cultural relations; but some differ in their perceptions as to the development potential

of political relations, particularly when it comes to Cambodia’s democratization process.


Germany and Cambodia share common values and a political vision for international politics:

Both are committed to a rules-based international order, multilateralism, and ASEAN

integration. That common interest and vision could be a means to improve political relations.


German and Cambodian stakeholders perceive a strong developmental potential in economic

relations but there is some scepticism on the German side whether this can be achieved

because of three main limiting factors: The Cambodian market size, available human

resources and a lack of infrastructure. Hence, economic relations still lack investments and

are mainly focused on trade relations. However, this could change in the future as more German

initiatives are made to enhance economic relations. Cambodians appear to like German

products and there exists a strong demand for German technology and knowledge transfer.


On the level of socio-cultural relations, German and Cambodian stakeholders widely share

the perception that education is the most promising area for future development. Cambodian

stakeholders especially demand greater German support for technical and vocational

education (TVE).


There exists future cooperation potential with universities, research institutions, and

development agencies to extend educational exchange programs bringing more Cambodians

to Germany and vice versa. The same is true for cultural projects that build and promote

intercultural relations.



Dr. Raimund Weiß

Mr. Robert Hör