Spreading the Benefits of Growth throughout Cambodia
Over the last 20 years Cambodia has averaged annual economic growth of over 7 percent, and this has transformed the country. New jobs are proliferating in the construction, garment and tourism sectors, but these opportunities have yet to spread to rural areas where agriculture is still the major source of income.
The Royal Cambodian Government has licenced 360 electricity companies, connecting 1.8 million homes to the electricity grid. And almost 140 companies offer piped and treated water to peoples’ homes.But commercial suppliers of water and electricity are reluctant to expand into areas where it takes longer to earn back the initial investment, leaving 70 percent of Cambodia without basic infrastructure. Our research indicates that another 50 to 100 drinking water companies could be established or expand their coverage with some additional capital. This could benefit more than 100 000 households or 500 000 Cambodians.
Investing in Infrastructure also estimates that subsidies could help up to 50 electricity companies to expand their networks or make it more affordable for poorer households to connect to the national electricity grid. We’re also exploring ways to encourage other investors into basic infrastructure, and we have found there is significant interest in investing in large scale solar energy projects.