Things You Need to Know about Investing in Cambodia
Cambodia, or the “Kingdom of Cambodia” is located in the southern portion of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia, bordering Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos and it has 181,035 square kilometers of land area.
Demographics, Language and Culture
The country has more than 16 million population with of 90% Khmers, 5% of Chinese, Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
While Khmer is the official language, English and Chinese are also widely spoken throughout the country. Approximately 95% of the population is Buddhist. Other religions are Islam, Christianity, and minor folk religions.
There are approximately 150,000 expatriates currently living in Cambodia and most of them are from Western and Asian countries. It is because of the low cost of living, plenty of job opportunities for foreigners and easy to get a work visa.
Visa is required to enter Cambodia and it is divided into two types:
Tourist Visa (T Class), a single-entry pass for a 30-day period, and
Working visa (E-Class) which falls apart into four types.
EG Visa for job seekers, EB Visa for all foreigner workers and their dependents, ER Visa for Retirees from other countries that can provide proof of income, and ES visa for students. Among them, long term stay visa for foreigners is EB Visa.
Although Khmer Rie is the official currency of Cambodia, US dollar (USD) is the most commonly used currency, and it involves surprisingly 80% of business and banking transactions. Hence, Cambodia has no currency exchange limitations set by the government. Moreover, there are no restrictions on the transfer of profits in and out of the country. That allows convenience to international investors.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Cambodia is still cheaper compared to the United States. The cost of food, accommodation, healthcare and other amenities in Cambodia is extremely affordable compared to more industrialized countries.
Cambodia’s traditional core industries have contributed to the continuous growth. These are garment manufacturing, agriculture, and more recently construction and tourism.
Best Places to Invest
Cambodia have plenty of cities and each has its own reason to invest. Some cities like the capital Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, and Siem Reap attract investors with their rapid growth in tourist arrivals. Other good provinces to invest are Ta Khmau, Kampong Cham, Kep, Battambang, and Kampot.
Cambodia is arguably among the best country for real estate investors. There’s potential in buying older apartments, renovating them, and either renting them out or reselling them afterwards. Foreigners enjoy freehold ownership and total control over their properties if things are done correctly.
Foreigners can own strata titles for condominium units directly in their own name. But they cannot own none of the properties with Hard Title and Soft Title in their own name legally as the Cambodian citizens do.
Last but not least, new roads, ports, and other types of infrastructure are under construction across the country, and large multinationals, lured by low taxes and business-friendliness, are setting up businesses and bringing high-salaried expats with them.