Cambodia – Strengths and Weaknesses

Cambodia hasn’t been the hotbed of activity like its neighbors have for almost a half-millennium. Realizing its weakness and working to become a bigger tourist destination to help pull its citizens out of poverty, the country has taken great strides in improving its cities and amenities. Since, the biggest industries that the Cambodian economy relies on are construction, tourism, investment, and commodity trade. Cambodia continues to improve on its safety and international relations.

Cambodia is political member of such organizations as the United Nations and the World Bank. It also continues to improve the political side of their government by building diplomatic relations with many countries, hosting 20 embassies across the country. There are still border disputes that arise between the country and its neighbors on occasion. The biggest violence seems to erupt between the border of Thailand and Cambodia where as recently as April, 2009, there was an uprising about where the physical border lies. Both countries mobilized their militaries and 2 Thai soldiers fell as a result of the incident.

One of the Cambodia’s strengths has been the economic growth that’s rapidly on the rise. But the overall economic situation is still low when compared to its neighbors in other parts of Southeast Asia. This has also had the “trickle down” effect, allowing the average per capita wage to increase as well. Cambodia still has a great deal of its population in poverty, though. One of the big positive economic contributors, outside of the increased tourism, has been the reintroduction of more than 750 different types of rice courtesy of the International Rice Research Institute out of the Philippines. Another weakness affecting the economic growth and situation in Cambodia is the lack of education that many of the older generations possess. While education and fluency in reading and writing are rapidly increasing among its youth, the older citizens are still behind the times.

One of Cambodia’s strengths is the great culture due to its mix of modern globalization and various religions. A major strength is what the Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has done for the promotion and development of Cambodian culture. Another thing plaguing Cambodia is the effects of Civil War on its people. The median age is just 20.1 and UNICEF has identified the country as the third most land mined in the country. Cambodia is on the rise but it will take some time to help fully recover from its current state.

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