The country is a former French colony and gained independence in 1953. Cambodia’s development has been slow following the genocide involving the Khmer Rouge during the 1970s in which 1.7 million people died. The main exports from Cambodia include rubber, clothing and timber. However, a severe lack of infrastructure prevents the country from establishing strong links to market.
Like many developing countries, tourism has provided greater opportunities to grow both the local and national economies. The industry has strengthened in recent years.
The Cambodian economy has grown at an average of 6.0% in the past ten years, making it one of the fastest growing economies in Asia. Major challenges lie ahead for Cambodia to ensure that all sections of society benefit from these improvements in the next ten years.
Tell me something about Cambodia…
- The country has a population of 14.7 million
- Extremely high poverty rates in rural areas – 90% of poor people live in rural areas, with at least 12% owning no land
- Low skills levels and productivity as agriculture is largely used for subsistence
- The low productivity means that any change in weather can leave whole communities without food or the means to grow more
- There are continued conflicts over land rights