The EU is set to allocate €86 million ($93.6 million) in grant funding to Cambodia under the Global Gateway initiative. This financial support aims to bolster four new programmes, enhancing the reach, efficiency and impact of EU interventions in the country. 

Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth and EU ambassador to Cambodia Igor Driesmans announced this commitment in a joint press release following their meeting on January 15.

The Global Gateway is a new European strategy to “boost smart, clean and secure links in digital, energy and transport sectors and to strengthen health, education and research systems across the world”.

As part of this strategy, European nations and EU member states collectively known as Team Europe, their implementing agencies and public development banks – as well as the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) – have initiated two Team Europe Initiatives (TEIs) to bolster Cambodia’s integration into ASEAN. 

The TEIs – with a focus on green development and decent work – aim to identify key development constraints, with the united efforts of Team Europe aiming for transformative outcomes. This involves prioritising sustainable agriculture, green energy value chains and industrial value chains.

Driesmans said that within the strategy, the EU plans to provide funding to Cambodia for initiatives such as the Cambodia Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture (CPSA), sustainable energy practices in the garment, footwear and travel goods industry, technical education training programmes 2024-27 and trade and private sector support.

He also commended the Cambodian government for successfully implementing key policy reforms, contributing to both social stability and positive economic development.

“I take great pride in actively supporting Cambodia’s social protection policy through the successful implementation of the Social Security Reform Programme, with aid provided by the EU Fund,” Driesmans said.

Pornmoniroth said the EU has consistently backed the government’s priority areas and significant reform efforts, leading to noteworthy achievements over the years.

“The government appreciates the EU’s active participation and ongoing support in advancing the development and progress of social protection in Cambodia. This includes resilience, inclusion, sustainability and addressing challenges, notably its role in fostering partnerships and improving resource allocation in the social sphere, encompassing social protection, health and education,” he said.

The minister said that under the Global Gateway strategy, these initiatives will support the government’s priority policy agenda.

He stated his strong optimism about their potential to successfully fulfil the planned objectives.