The economy of Cambodia at present follows an open market system (market economy) and has seen rapid economic progress in the last decade. Cambodia had a GDP of $18.05 billion in 2015. Per capita income, although rapidly increasing, is low compared with most neighboring countries. Cambodia's two largest industries are textiles and tourism, while agricultural activities remain the main source of income for many Cambodians living in rural areas. The service sector is heavily concentrated on trading activities and catering-related services. Recently, Cambodia has reported that oil and natural gas reserves have been found off-shore.
In 1995, with a GDP of $2.92 billion the government transformed the country's economic system from a planned economy to its present market-driven system. Following those changes, growth was estimated at a value of 7% while inflation dropped from 26% in 1994 to only 6% in 1995. Imports increased due to the influx of foreign aid, and exports, particularly from the country's garment industry, also increased.
After four years of improving economic performance, Cambodia's economy slowed in 1997–1998 due to the regional economic crisis, civil unrest, and political infighting. Foreign investments declined during this period. Also, in 1998 the main harvest was hit by drought. But in 1999, the first full year of relative peace in 30 years, progress was made on economic reforms and growth resumed at 4%.
Currently, Cambodia's foreign policy focuses on establishing friendly borders with its neighbors (such as Thailand and Vietnam), as well as integrating itself into regional (ASEAN) and global (WTO) trading systems. Some of the obstacles faced by this emerging economy are the need for a better education system and the lack of a skilled workforce; particularly in the poverty-ridden countryside, which struggles with inadequate basic infrastructure. Nonetheless, Cambodia continues to attract investors because of its low wages, plentiful labor, proximity to Asian raw materials, and favorable tax treatment.
|Economy of Cambodia|
Aerial view of Phnom Penh
|WTO, ASEAN, AFTA|
|GDP||$24.523 billion (nominal, 2018 est.) $70.452 billion (PPP, 2018 est.)|
|GDP rank||109th (nominal, 2018) 99th (PPP, 2018)|
|6.9% (2016) 7.0% (2017) 7.1% (2018e) 6.8% (2019f) |
GDP per capita
|$1,508 (nominal, 2018 est.) $4,334 (PPP, 2018 est.)|
GDP per capita rank
|150th (nominal, 2018) 137th (PPP, 2018)|
GDP by sector
Services: 41.0% (2012 est.)
|2.542% (2019f est.) 2.387% (2018) 2.906% (2017)|
Population below poverty line
|17.7% (2012, World Bank)|
|37.9 medium (2008 est.)|
|0.582 medium (2017) (146th)|
|8.913 million (2017 est.)|
Labour force by occupation
|Agriculture: 48.7% Industry: 19.9% Services: 31.5% (2013 est.)|
|Unemployment||0.3% (2017 est.) 0.2% (2016 est.) high underemployment, according to official statistics|
|tourism, garments, construction, rice milling, fishing, wood and wood products, rubber, cement, gem mining, textiles|
|Exports||$11.42 billion (2017 est.)|
|clothing, timber, rubber, rice, fish, tobacco, footwear|
Main export partners
| United States 21.5%|
United Kingdom 9%
Belgium 4.5% (2017)
France 3% (2018)
|Imports||$14.37 billion (2017 est.)|
|petroleum products, cigarettes, gold, construction materials, machinery, motor vehicles, pharmaceutical products|
Main import partners
| China 34.1%|
Vietnam 10.1% (2017)
Russia 7.5% (2018)
|$29.17 billion (2014 est.) Abroad: N/A|
|−$1.871 billion (2017 est.)|
Gross external debt
|$11.87 billion (31 December 2017 est.)|
|30.4% of GDP (2017 est.)|
|Revenues||3.947 billion (2017 est.)|
|Expenses||4.354 billion (2017 est.)|
|Economic aid||$934 million pledged in grants and concessional loans for 2011 by international donors|
BB- (T&C assessment)
(Standard & Poor's)
|$12.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)|
Following its independence from France in 1953, the Cambodian state has undergone five periods of political, social, and economic transformation:
In 1989, the State of Cambodia implemented reform policies that transformed the Cambodian economic system from a command economy to an open market one. In line with the economic reformation, private property rights were introduced and state-owned enterprises were privatized. Cambodia also focused on integrating itself into regional and international economic blocs, such as the Association of South East Asian Nations and the World Trade Organization respectively. These policies triggered a growth in the economy, with its national GDP growing at an average of 6.1% before a period of domestic unrest and regional economic instability in 1997 (1997 Asian financial crisis). However, conditions improved and since 1999, the Cambodian economy has continued to grow at an average pace of approximately 6-8% per annum.
In 2007, Cambodia's gross domestic product grew by an estimated 18.6%. Garment exports rose by almost 8%, while tourist arrivals increased by nearly 35%. With exports decreasing, the 2007 GDP growth was driven largely by consumption and investment. Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows reached US$600 million (7 percent of GDP), slightly more than what the country received in official aid. Domestic investment, driven largely by the private sector, accounted for 23.4 percent of GDP. Export growth, especially to the US, began to slow in late 2007 accompanied by stiffer competition from Vietnam and emerging risks (a slowdown in the US economy and lifting of safeguards on China's exports). US companies were the fifth largest investors in Cambodia, with more than $1.2 billion in investments over the period 1997-2007.
Cambodia was severely hit by the 2008 economic crisis (refer to table below), and its main economic sector, the garment industry, suffered a 23% drop in exports to the United States and Europe. As a result, 60,000 workers were laid off. However, in the last quarter of 2009 and early 2010, conditions were beginning to improve and the Cambodian economy began to recover. Cambodian exports to the US for the first 11 months of 2012 reached $2.49 billion, a 1 per cent increase year-on-year. Its imports of US goods grew 26 per cent for that period, reaching $213 million. Another factor underscoring the potential of the Cambodian economy is the recent halving of its poverty rate. The poverty rate is 20.5 per cent, meaning that approximately 2.8 million people live below the poverty line.
The table below represents the fluctuations in Cambodia's economy over the period from 2004–2011 (2012 data is not yet available).
|GNI per capita, PPP(current international $)||1,250||1,440||1,630||1,830||1,960||1,970||2,080||2,230|
|Total Population (Millions)||13.19||13.36||13.52||13.67||13.82||13.98||14.14||14.31|
|GDP (Millions US$)||5,337.83||6,293.05||7,274.42||8,639.16||10,351.83||10,401.94||11,242.27||12,829.54|
|GDP Growth (annual %)||10.34||13.25||10.77||10.21||6.69||0.09||5.96||7.07|
The garment industry represents the largest portion of Cambodia's manufacturing sector, accounting for 80% of the country's exports. In 2012, the exports grew to $4.61 billion up 8% over 2011. In the first half of 2013, the garment industry reported exports worth $1.56 billion. The sector employs 335,400 workers, of which 91% are female.
The sector operates largely on the final phase of garment production, that is turning yarns and fabrics into garments, as the country lacks a strong textile manufacturing base. In 2005, there were fears that the end of the Multi Fibre Arrangement would threaten Cambodia's garment industry; exposing it to stiff competition with China's strong manufacturing capabilities. On the contrary, Cambodia's garment industry at present continues to grow rapidly. This is can be attributed to the country's open economic policy which has drawn in large amounts of foreign investment into this sector of the economy.
Garment Factories by Ownership Nationality in 2010:
|Nationality of Ownership||Ownership by percentage||Number of factories owned|
note: In 2010, 236 garment export-oriented factories were operating and registered with GMAC, with 93% being foreign direct investment (FDI).
As seen in the table above, Cambodia's garment industry is characterized by a small percentage of local ownership. This is a reflection of the deficiency of skilled workers in the country as well as the limited leverage and autonomy Cambodian factories have in strategic decisions. Another characteristic of the industry is the country's competitive advantage as the only country where garment factories are monitored and reported according to national and international standards.
This has allowed Cambodia to secure its share of quotas for exports to the US through the US-Cambodia Trade Agreement on Textiles and Apparel (1999–2004), which linked market access to labor standards. However, the Cambodian garment industry remains vulnerable to global competition due to a lack of adequate infrastructure, labor unrest, the absence of a domestic textile industry, and almost complete dependence on imported textile material.
The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) is establishing a specialized training institute to train garment workers. The institute is in Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone and will be completed by late 2016. It aims to train 1,600 garment workers in the first three years and 240 university students each year as part of a separate program.
Agriculture is the traditional mainstay of the Cambodian economy. Agriculture accounted for 90 percent of GDP in 1985 and employed approximately 80 percent of the work force. Rice is the principle commodity.
Major secondary crops include maize, cassava, sweet potatoes, groundnuts, soybeans, sesame seeds, dry beans, and rubber. The principal commercial crop is rubber. In the 1980s it was an important primary commodity, second only to rice, and one of the country's few sources of foreign exchange.
In the 1960s, Cambodia was a prominent tourist destination in the Southeast Asian region. Due to protracted periods of civil war, insurgencies, and especially the genocidal regime of the Khmer Rouge (see Khmer Rouge Genocide), Cambodia's tourism industry was reduced to being virtually non-existent. Since the late 1990s, tourism is fast becoming Cambodia's second largest industry, just behind the garment manufacturing. In 2006, Cambodia's tourism sector generated a revenue of US$1.594 billion, which made up approximately 16% of the country's GDP.
Cultural heritage tourism is especially popular in the country, with many foreign tourists visiting the ancient Hindu temple of Angkor Wat located in the Siem Reap province. Other popular tourist attractions include the Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, as well as ecotourism spots such as Tonlé Sap Lake and the Mekong River.
The tourism industry in Cambodia has been perpetuated by the development of important transportation infrastructure; in particular Cambodia's two international airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap respectively. To the Cambodian economy, tourism has been a means for accumulation of foreign currency earnings and employment for the Cambodian workforce, with about 250,000 jobs generated in 2006. Meanwhile, challenges to the industry include a leakage of revenue to foreign markets due to a dependence on foreign goods as well as the prevalence of the Child sex tourism industry.
The gambling industry of Cambodia supports its tourism industry, which is mostly concentrated around the Siem Reap province. The introduction of casino on border cities and towns created an industry that has thrived and contributed to the generation of employment and a steady stream of revenue for the government. However, the issue of corruption in relation to the government bureaucratic process involved in the gambling sector has been raised. It has likewise spur growth in different parts of the country at border crossing towns like Poipet, Bavet and Koh Kong. The growth of the gambling industry in Cambodia is due to its proximity to Thailand where gambling is forbidden.
The increase in tourist arrivals has led to growing demand for hotels and other forms of accommodation surrounding tourist hotspots. Siem Reap in particular has seen a construction boom in recent years. The capital Phnom Penh has also witnessed a growth in the construction and real estate sector. Recently, planned projects that have been on the pipeline for several years have been shelved temporarily due to a reduction in foreign investment. From 2009, the Cambodian government has allowed foreigners to own condominiums. This has helped in attracting real estate investors from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and other countries.
The construction sector attracted investment of $2.1 billion in 2012 which is a 72 per cent rise compared with 2011. Construction licenses issued stood at 1,694 projects in 2012, which was 20% lower than 2011 but they were higher in value.
Oil seeps were discovered in Cambodia as early as the 1950s by Russian and Chinese geologists. Development of the industry was delayed, however, by the Vietnam and Cambodian Civil Wars and the political uncertainty that followed. Further discoveries of oil and natural gas deposits offshore in the early 2000s led to renewed domestic and international interest in Cambodia's production possibilities. As of 2013, the US company Chevron, Japanese JOGMEC and other international companies maintained production sites both on shore and off. Chevron alone had invested over US$160 million and drilled 18 wells.
Sok Khavan, acting director general of the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority, estimated that once the contracts are finalized and legal issues resolved, the Cambodian government will receive approximately 70% of the revenues, contributing to an economy in which the GDP is projected to increase five-fold by 2030. In addition, there are 10,000 square miles offshore in the Gulf of Thailand that holds potential reserves of 12-14 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and an unspecified amount of oil. The rights to this territory are currently a subject of dispute between Cambodia and Thailand, further delaying any possible production developments. In early 2013 it was reported that the two countries were close to a deal that would allow joint production to begin.
Cambodia's emerging democracy has received strong international support. Under the mandate of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC), $1.72 billion (1.72 G$) was spent in an effort to bring basic security, stability and democratic rule to the country. Various news and media reports suggest that since 1993 the country has been the recipient of some US$10 billion in foreign aid.
With regards to economic assistance, official donors had pledged $880 million at the Ministerial Conference on the Rehabilitation of Cambodia (MCRRC) in Tokyo in June 1992. In addition to that figure, $119 million was pledged in September 1993 at the International Committee on the Reconstruction of Cambodia (ICORC) meeting in Paris, and $643 million at the March 1994 ICORC meeting in Tokyo.
Cambodia experienced a shortfall in foreign aid in the year 2005 due to the government's failure to pass anti-corruption laws, opening up a single import/export window, increasing its spending on education, and complying with policies of good governance. In response, the government adopted the National Strategic Development Plan for 2006–10 (also known as the “Third Five-Year Plan”). The plan focused on three major areas:
There are no significant barriers to bank entry. At the end of 2013, there stood 35 commercial banks of which most have majority foreign ownership. Since 2011 new banks with offshore funding have begun to enter the market.
Although Cambodia exports mainly garments and products from agriculture and fisheries, it is striving to diversify the economy. There is some evidence of expansion in value-added exports from a low starting point, largely thanks to the manufacture of electrical goods and telecommunications by foreign multinationals implanted in the country. Between 2008 and 2013, high-tech exports climbed from just US$3.8million to US$76.5 million.
It will be challenging for Cambodia to enhance the technological capacity of the many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in agriculture, engineering and the natural sciences. Whereas the large foreign firms in Cambodia that are the main source of value-added exports tend to specialize in electrical machinery and telecommunications, the principal task for science and technology policy will be to facilitate spillovers in terms of skills and innovation capability from these large operators towards smaller firms and across other sectors.
There is little evidence that the Law on Patents, Utility Model Certificates and Industrial Designs (2006) has been of practical use, thus far, to any but the larger foreign firms operating in Cambodia. By 2012, 27 patent applications had been filed, all by foreigners. Of the 42 applications for industrial design received up to 2012, 40 had been filed by foreigners. Nevertheless, the law has no doubt encouraged foreign firms to introduce technological improvements to their on-shore production systems, which can only be beneficial.
|production||1.273 billion kWh||...|
|consumption||1.272 billion kWh||...|
|imports||274 million kWh||...|
|Year||Riels (KHR) per US dollar|
This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html.
The ASEAN–China Free Trade Area (ACFTA), also known as China–ASEAN Free Trade Area is a free trade area among the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the People's Republic of China.Cambodia Development Cooperation Forum
The first Cambodia Development Cooperation Forum (CDCF), a restructured format for the Consultative Group (CG) meeting, was held in Phnom Penh on June 19–20, 2007. The CDCF was chaired by the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) with the World Bank as the Lead Donor Facilitator. The theme for 2007 was "Progress in Implementing the National Strategic Development Plan 2006-2010".Cambodia Securities Exchange
The Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) (Khmer: ក្រុមហ៊ុន ផ្សារមូលបត្រកម្ពុជា; abbreviation: ផមក) is the national stock exchange of Cambodia. The exchange's purpose is to achieve high economic growth by facilitating flows of capital, investment, and reallocation of capital based on capital market mechanisms. The exchange is headquartered in the Canadia Tower, in Cambodia's capital city, Phnom Penh.
As of 2016, CSX was reported to have the smallest total market capitalization for its listed companies of any stock exchange in the world, with a total capitalization of $103.1 million. In 2018, The Market Cap reached $442.92 millionCambodian riel
The riel (Khmer: រៀល; sign: ៛; code: KHR) is the currency of Cambodia. There have been two distinct riel, the first issued between 1953 and May 1975. Between 1975 and 1980, the country had no monetary system. A second currency, also named "riel", has been issued since March 20, 1980. The symbol is encoded in Unicode at U+17DB ៛ KHMER CURRENCY SYMBOL RIEL (HTML ៛).
Popular belief suggests that the name of the currency comes from the Mekong river fish, the riel ("small fish" in Khmer). It is more likely that the name derives from the high silver content Mexican real used by Malay, Indian and Chinese merchants in mid-19th-century Cambodia.List of Cambodian provinces by Human Development Index
This is a list of Cambodian provinces (khaet) by Human Development Index as of 2017, including the autonomous municipality of Phnom Penh. Some provinces are grouped together and their aggregate HDI are calculated.List of banks in Cambodia
This is a list of banks in Cambodia.Mineral industry of Cambodia
In 2006, Cambodia's mineral resources remained, to a large extent, unexplored. Between 2003 and 2006, however, foreign investors from Australia, China, South Korea, Thailand, and the United States began to express their interest in Cambodia's potential for offshore oil and gas as well as such land-based metallic minerals as bauxite, copper, gold, and iron ore, and such industrial minerals as gemstones and limestone.The identified mineral resources in Cambodia were bauxite, carbonate rocks, natural gas, gemstones, gold, manganese, petroleum, phosphate rock, salt, silica, and zircon. With the exception of carbonate rocks and gemstones, the country's mineral resources were largely unexploited. To attract domestic and foreign mining companies to invest in the mining sector, the Law of Minerals Management and Mining of Cambodia was promulgated by the government on July 13, 2001.Ministry of Commerce (Cambodia)
The Ministry of Commerce (Khmer: ក្រសួងពាណិជ្ជកម្ម; Krasuang Pearnichkam) is the government ministry responsible for regulating and promoting commerce and trade of Cambodia. It works both domestically and internationally, and within the context of ASEAN, to create opportunities and a good working environment for producers and exporters.Ministry of Economy and Finance (Cambodia)
The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) (Khmer: ក្រសួងសេដ្ឋកិច្ចនិងហិរញ្ញវត្ថុ, French: Ministère de l'économie et des finances) accounts for the administration of financial and economic policy and affair in the Kingdom of Cambodia. In accordance to the official website, the ministry was commissioned by the Royal Government of Cambodia to perform missions of guidances and administrations in economic and financial affairs. The current Minister responsible for the Ministry of Economic and Finance is Aun Porn Moniroth, as of 2013. The main ministerial office is located in Phnom Penh, while the provincial branches are located across the main capitals of each province.
The managerial structure is divided into five ranks: Minister, Secretary of State, Deputy Secretary of State, Secretary General, and Deputy Secretary General. They are responsible for the administration in the distribution and allocation of budget, creation of policy, implementing and enhance existing policies in the extension of designated departments as well as the extended departments in provincial branches. The level of authority in budget and policy approval and implementation are based on the primary and secondary ranks of the administrative figures.Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts (Cambodia)
The Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts (Khmer: ក្រសួងឧស្សាហកម្មនិងសិប្បកម្ម) is a government ministry responsible for industry and handicrafts in Cambodia.Ministry of Mines and Energy (Cambodia)
The Ministry of Industry, Mining and Energy (Khmer: ក្រសួងឧស្សាហកម្ម រ៉ែ និងថាមពល) (MIME) is a government ministry responsible for governing and the mining industry and the energy industry of Cambodia. It is located in Phnom Penh.National Bank of Cambodia
The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) (Khmer: ធនាគារជាតិនៃកម្ពុជា), located in Phnom Penh, is the central bank of Cambodia. The bank's duties include, inter alia, the management of monetary and exchange policies, the regulation of banks and financial institutions, and the control of the national currency, the riel. The bank was established in 1954 after the Indochina Printing Institution closed when Cambodia obtained its independence from France. The National Bank of Cambodia is also known as the "Red Bank" or "Banque Rouge".It is an autonomous central bank with a 7-member board of directors responsible for establishing operational policies and issuing decisions, regulations, circulars and other directives. The National Bank of Cambodia supervises the banking system and is the chief banker for the government of Cambodia. The bank has four organizational areas, namely: the General Cashier, the General Directorate, the General Secretariat, and the General Inspection. As of 2013 Chea Chanto is the chairman of the board of directors and the Governor of the Bank.Natural resources of Cambodia
Natural resources are materials that occur in a natural form within environments. These can be classified as either biotic or abiotic on the basis of their origin. The landmass and the territorial waters of Cambodia contain a rather moderate amount, array and variety of resources. Apart from water, abiotic resources, such as minerals are generally rare. Still, advanced geo-scientific technologies have produced remarkable results and re-assessments in recent years, such as the localization of offshore oil and gas depots in the Gulf of Thailand. Cambodia, on the other hand possesses a relatively wide range of biotic resources, in particular timber, forest products, rare plants and a fauna of great diversity.Oknha
Oknha (Khmer: ឧកញ៉ា, also spelled as Oknia) is a Khmer title. It have different meaning in ancient time and modern time.
In ancient time, Oknha is one of the noble titles, above Preah (ព្រះ) and below Neak Oknha (អ្នកឧកញ៉ា). It roughly equal to marquess in Western countries.
The title Oknha is created since the 18th century to relace the title Ponhea (ពញា), which could be translated as Phraya (พญา) in Thai. The word Oknha is referred to as Ốc nha (屋牙) in ancient Vietnamese records.
After the Cambodian coup of 1970, the Khmer social structure changed drastically. All royal and noble titles were revoked by the Khmer Republic. Later, many Cambodian nobles die in the Cambodian genocide.
In present-day, Oknha is the highest title bestowed on civilians (no royalty) by the Cambodian king. The word means "nobleman" or "lord", it's only an honorary title. Since 20 March 2017, anyone hoping to be bestowed with the title must make contributions of $500,000 or more to the government. There are three levels of Oknha: Lok Oknha (លោកឧកញ៉ា), Neak Oknha (អ្នកឧកញ៉ា) and Oknha.Outline of Cambodia
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Cambodia:
Cambodia – a sovereign country located in Southeast Asia with a population of over 13 million people. Cambodia is the successor state of the once powerful Hindu and Buddhist Khmer Empire, which ruled most of the Indochinese Peninsula between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries. Cambodia's main industries are garments, tourism, and construction. In 2007, foreign visitors to Angkor Wat alone almost hit the 4 million mark.Poverty and NGOs in Cambodia
In Cambodia, the population living under the national poverty line of US$0.93 per capita per day in 2009 (Ministry of Planning, 2013) is defined as the poor. In 2009, about 22.9% of Cambodians live below the national poverty line indicating that at least one in five Cambodians are still living in deprivation. They lack sufficient resources to meet their daily needs. Cambodia’s long history of violence and conflict, both internally and externally has contributed to the current poverty situation. Most notably in Cambodia’s troubled history was the Khmer Rouge regime and a period of occupation under Vietnam’s communist leaders from 1980 to 1989. As such, it was not until recently did the political situation in Cambodia settle down. Since then, its economy has been growing from strength to strength, driven by the expansion in the garment, construction, tourism and agricultural sector.
However, a good proportion of Cambodians that are living in rural areas are not experiencing the prosperity especially in the plateau and mountainous region. The Asian Development Bank once estimated in 2012 that 18.9% of Cambodians lived below the national poverty line. In 2013, Cambodia’s population grew to 14.68 million. As of April 2016, the figures dropped to 13.5% despite the population increasing to 15.41 million people in 2015. Many small-scale farmers practice agriculture at subsistence level, using traditional methods that are low in productivity. Two thirds of the country's 1.6 million rural households face seasonal food shortages each year. Rice alone accounts for as much as 30 per cent of household expenditures.The rural citizens are the people who have the least access to education, health and other public services because of poor infrastructures and lack of government investment in areas where it matters most. In 2007, education expenditure only accounted for 1.6% of Cambodia’s total GDP putting it amongst the ranks of other poorer nations. As a result, only 78% of adults above the age of 15 are literate.Rampant corruption amongst the political elites and government bureaucrats is a key factor that has been hindering improvements in poverty levels. In 2010, Cambodia was ranked 154th out of 178 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) with a given score of 2.1 out of 10 indicating just how perverse corruption is at every level of the Cambodian society. Yet, this is already considered an improvement from previous years. This is a deterrent for foreign investments and foreign aids that are very much needed for Cambodia to sustain its economic growth and alleviate the poor out of poverty.
Even though growth in GDP per capita in the past decade has led to decreasing poverty rates, it is not happening at a rate that equals to economic growth rates. Additionally, the economic growth is increasing the gap in inequality between the very poor and the rich.
The United Nations in 2016 hailed Cambodia for its accomplishments in meeting its Millennium Development Goals targets for 2015. The UN in its report called Cambodia an 'early achiever and praised the County for performing 'particularly well' on poverty alleviation.Ratanakiri Province
Ratanakiri or Ratanak Kiri (Khmer: រតនគិរី IPA: [ˌreə̯̆ʔ taʔ ˈnaʔ ki ˈriː]), is a province of northeast Cambodia. It borders the provinces of Mondulkiri to the south and Stung Treng to the west and the countries of Laos and Vietnam to the north and east, respectively. The province extends from the mountains of the Annamite Range in the north, across a hilly plateau between the Tonle San and Tonle Srepok rivers, to tropical deciduous forests in the south. In recent years, logging and mining have scarred Ratanakiri's environment, long known for its beauty.
For over a millennium, Ratanakiri has been occupied by the highland Khmer Loeu people, who are a minority elsewhere in Cambodia. During the region's early history, its Khmer Loeu inhabitants were exploited as slaves by neighboring empires. The slave trade economy ended during the French colonial era, but a harsh Khmerization campaign after Cambodia's independence again threatened Khmer Loeu ways of life. The Khmer Rouge built its headquarters in the province in the 1960s, and bombing during the Vietnam War devastated the region. Today, rapid development in the province is altering traditional ways of life.
Ratanakiri is sparsely populated; its 184,000 residents make up just over 1% of the country's total population. Residents generally live in villages of 20 to 60 families and engage in subsistence shifting agriculture. Ratanakiri is among the least developed provinces of Cambodia. Its infrastructure is poor, and the local government is weak. Health indicators in Ratanakiri are extremely poor; men's life expectancy is 39 years, and women's is 43 years. Education levels are also low, with just under half of the population illiterate.Special Economic Zones of Cambodia
Special Economic Zones of Cambodia are geographical areas within Cambodia's borders that have been specially designated by the national government in which business and trade regulations differ from those that apply to the rest of the country. Special economic zones, in general, are common in various economies around the world and are established to meet the needs of the specific business environment of each host country, ranging from encouraging foreign investment to job creation to streamlined administration of multinational ventures. Approved in 2005 with implementation beginning in 2006, Cambodia's Special Economic Zones provide businesses within each zone with a number of fiscal incentives, including income tax, customs, and VAT benefits and are "designed to offer a one-stop service for imports and exports, and have specially trained government officials stationed on site to provide administrative services". The 22 currently approved SEZs in Cambodia operate under the authority of the Cambodia Special Economic Zone Board under the umbrella of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) for "the purposes of enhancing the competitiveness and attracting investment in the Kingdom of Cambodia". According to a report by the CDC, as of late 2013, Cambodia's SEZs had attracted US$1.65 billion in total investment from 172 investment projects, most of which were initiated by China, South Korea and Japan, and added 105,000 jobs to the Cambodian economy.