Life in Cambodia

Survival Bible of Phnom Penh


Life in Cambodia


Cambodia is a country of Southeast Asia bordering Vietnam, Laos and Thailand before diving into the Gold of Thailand. 182,000 km² of land is home for 15.8 million inhabitants, 33% of whom are under 15 years old. The capital, Phnom Penh, is located in the South of Cambodia and is reachable in a few hours bus-travel from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam's economic capital. 

This monarchy, led by King Norodom Sihamoni since 2005, ranks 143rd on the human development index. The average salary is $120 and more and more international companies are going to this country as part of their internationalization, thanks to particularly low labour costs. 

Some sites are known as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Angkor and the Temple of Perah Vihear.

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The economy of Cambodia

Since the 1990s, the situation is more stable and has improved significantly in many areas (legislation, road network, mine clearance, international relations, etc.). 

With a growth rate of 7,2% and an approximated inflation rate of 3% in 2018, the World Bank reclassified Cambodia as a "middle-income" country. However, it remains one of the least developed countries in ASEAN, which still bears the marks of high levels of inequality. The country is very strongly "dollarized" and enjoys good monetary stability, even if the banking sector highly depends on the exchange rate because all deposits are in dollars. 

The economy is not very diversified, as it is based on three main sectors :

  • Agriculture : 2/3 of the population lives from agriculture.
  • Industry : it is mainly based on the textile industry and shoe manufacturing. Textile industry employs near 700,000 people and is the main growth driver.
  • Tourism: the boom is remarkable and is expected to continue. Among Asian visitors, the Vietnamese and the Chinese predominate even if the Chinese have become the government's priority target. About 5.5 million tourists visited Cambodia in 2017; a 10% increase over the previous year. For the time being, this dynamism is mainly linked to Angkor.