The Cambodian economy was devastated
by the war in South East Asia, regarding the rule
of the Khmer Rouge between 1975
and 1979. With the ousting of the Khmer Rouge from power by the Vietnamese
in 1979, a slow process of recovery has begun. The main source of
employment is agriculture and progress has been
slow but steady. The main staple is Rice; other
products include bananas, maize, cassava, and sugar cane.
Other areas of growth is the timber industry but
the domestic and foreign demands has created concern over rapid
deforestation. Timber is, along with rubber, the
main source of most of Cambodia’s export earnings. Other resources,
which include iron, phosphates, ore, silicon, bauxite, and manganese,
are limited. There is a small but quick-growing industrial sector focusing on the production of consumer goods,
processed foods and light manufacturing. Foreign investment is key
in this area and most has come from Eastern Asian countries, specifically
Thailand that seek countries with lower labor costs.
Australia and Japan have replaced the former Soviet Union as Cambodia’s largest trading partners.
Since 2000 Cambodia's GDP growth has reached 6% yearly with construction activity particularly extensive,
especially in the capital. The 1997 currency crisis on the economy
were transitory, given the relatively undeveloped state of the Cambodian
economy. Cambodia is striving to be an Asian ‘tiger’
economy and is now a member, along with neighbouring Vietnam,
the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN),
the principal regional economic cooperation body.
Doing Business in Cambodia
Shirts and ties should be worn. Knowledge of French can be useful.
Business hours: Monday through Friday
For additional information, contact The Royal Embassy of
Cambodia in Paris (see Contacts section).