Since South Korea’s Economic Development and Cooperation Fund provided its first loan to Cambodia in 2001, EDCF’s total commitment in Cambodia has reached $600 million across 18 projects. Cambodia now ranks fourth in terms of accumulated loan commitments among 52 partner countries of EDCF as of 2014. In 2013, a framework arrangement was agreed between the Cambodian and Korean governments with a maximum commitment of $200 million, approving five new projects with a commitment of $230 million. These investments have helped to foster stronger diplomatic and economic ties between Cambodia and Korea.
EDCF’s policy in Cambodia is based on the country partnership strategy led by the Korean prime minister’s office, in line with the priorities of the Cambodian Rectangular Strategy Phase and the National Strategic Development Plan. Accordingly, EDCF has focused its support on infrastructure development in Cambodia, such as transport and water resources, with the aim of achieving economic growth and poverty reduction.
Of the18 projects planned so far, nine projects are related to road construction and improvement, focusing on rural road networks that remained in poor conditions. The areas range from southern regions (Kampot and Takeo), central regions (Tonle Sap Basins), to north-western provinces (Sisophon and Samrong). Six projects are involved in the water sector, mainly divided by water resource improvement in Siem Reap and Krang Ponley and dam construction in Sala Ta Orn, Monkol Borey and Dauntri.
This year, EDCF will pave its way to strengthen development cooperation with Cambodia by opening its representative office in Phnom Penh in November. In addition, bilateral governments will sign the amended framework arrangement by increasing the maximum commitment by $300 million. Approval of two new projects are also expected: Road No 3 improvement project and an irrigation project in Bantey Meanchey. For the coming years, EDCF will further contribute to Cambodia’s economic development by diversifying its sector approach and improving development effectiveness.
EDCF, operated by the Export-Import Bank of Korea (hereinafter Korea EXIM Bank), was established in 1987 to support developing countries in their efforts to achieve industrialisation and economic stability. As a pillar of Korea’s ODA, EDCF supports concessional loans to the countries to implement development projects in various sectors, such as transportation, energy, water supply, sanitation and education. The Korean government entrusted the Korea EXIM Bank with EDCF operation and management, and the bank comprehensively manages the fund’s activities from appraisal to evaluation, as well as loan agreement execution and advisory services.