The CCFTA, signed in October 2020 and effective since January 2022, was rapidly negotiated in just eight months amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Cambodia initiated the agreement with the aim of broadening its trade relations and export markets in China in response to the economic fallout caused by the pandemic, local flooding, and economic pressures and sanctions from the European Union and the United States.
The year 2020 was a challenging period for the country. Cambodia’s economy contracted by 3.1% in 2020, before rebounding by 3.0% in 2021 and 5.1% in 2022. Economic growth is expected to reach 6.2% in 2023.
This paper aims to shed light on the driving forces and key content of the CCFTA and its implications on Cambodia’s economic diplomacy.