Cambodia

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 9, 2011
Flag of Cambodia
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Cambodia
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Map of Cambodia
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Photos of Cambodia
 
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OF CAMBODIA
 

Introduction

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Most Cambodians consider themselves to be Khmers, descendants of the Angkor Empire that extended over much of Southeast Asia and reached its zenith between the 10th and 13th centuries. Attacks by the Thai and Cham (from present-day Vietnam) weakened the empire, ushering in a long period of decline. The king placed the country under French protection in 1863 and it became part of French Indochina in 1887. Following Japanese occupation in World War II, Cambodia gained full independence from France in 1953. In April 1975, after a five-year struggle, Communist Khmer Rouge forces captured Phnom Penh and evacuated all cities and towns. At least 1.5 million Cambodians died from execution, forced hardships, or starvation during the Khmer Rouge regime under POL POT. A December 1978 Vietnamese invasion drove the Khmer Rouge into the countryside, began a 10-year Vietnamese occupation, and touched off almost 13 years of civil war. The 1991 Paris Peace Accords mandated democratic elections and a ceasefire, which was not fully respected by the Khmer Rouge. UN-sponsored elections in 1993 helped restore some semblance of normalcy under a coalition government. Factional fighting in 1997 ended the first coalition government, but a second round of national elections in 1998 led to the formation of another coalition government and renewed political stability. The remaining elements of the Khmer Rouge surrendered in early 1999. Some of the surviving Khmer Rouge leaders have been tried or are awaiting trial for crimes against humanity by a hybrid UN-Cambodian tribunal supported by international assistance. Elections in July 2003 were relatively peaceful, but it took one year of negotiations between contending political parties before a coalition government was formed. In October 2004, King Norodom SIHANOUK abdicated the throne and his son, Prince Norodom SIHAMONI, was selected to succeed him. Local elections were held in Cambodia in April 2007, with little of the pre-election violence that preceded prior elections. National elections in July 2008 were relatively peaceful.
 
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Geography

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Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, between Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos
 
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13 00 N, 105 00 E
 
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total: 181,035 sq km
country comparison to the world: 90
land: 176,515 sq km
water: 4,520 sq km
 
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slightly smaller than Oklahoma
 
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total: 2,572 km
border countries: Laos 541 km, Thailand 803 km, Vietnam 1,228 km
 
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443 km
 
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territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
 
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tropical; rainy, monsoon season (May to November); dry season (December to April); little seasonal temperature variation
 
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mostly low, flat plains; mountains in southwest and north
 
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lowest point: Gulf of Thailand 0 m
highest point: Phnum Aoral 1,810 m
 
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oil and gas, timber, gemstones, iron ore, manganese, phosphates, hydropower potential
 
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arable land: 20.44%
permanent crops: 0.59%
other: 78.97% (2005)
 
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2,850 sq km (2008)
 
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476.1 cu km (1999)
 
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total: 4.08 cu km/yr (1%/0%/98%)
per capita: 290 cu m/yr (2000)
 
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monsoonal rains (June to November); flooding; occasional droughts
 
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illegal logging activities throughout the country and strip mining for gems in the western region along the border with Thailand have resulted in habitat loss and declining biodiversity (in particular, destruction of mangrove swamps threatens natural fisheries); soil erosion; in rural areas, most of the population does not have access to potable water; declining fish stocks because of illegal fishing and overfishing
 
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party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
 
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a land of paddies and forests dominated by the Mekong River and Tonle Sap
 
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People and Society

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noun: Cambodian(s)
adjective: Cambodian
 
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Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%, Chinese 1%, other 4%
 
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Khmer (official) 95%, French, English
 
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Buddhist (official) 96.4%, Muslim 2.1%, other 1.3%, unspecified 0.2% (1998 census)
 
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14,701,717 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
note: estimates for this country take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
 
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0-14 years: 32.2% (male 2,375,155/female 2,356,305)
15-64 years: 64.1% (male 4,523,030/female 4,893,761)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 208,473/female 344,993) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 22.9 years
male: 22.2 years
female: 23.7 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.698% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
 
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25.4 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57
 
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8.07 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
 
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-0.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
 
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urban population: 20% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 3.2% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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PHNOM PENH (capital) 1.519 million (2009)
 
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at birth: 1.045 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.6 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
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290 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)
country comparison to the world: 46
 
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total: 55.49 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 38
male: 62.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 48.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 62.67 years
country comparison to the world: 178
male: 60.31 years
female: 65.13 years (2011 est.)
 
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2.84 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
 
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5.8% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 112
 
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0.227 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
country comparison to the world: 148
 
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0.1 beds/1,000 population (2004)
country comparison to the world: 183
 
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improved:
urban: 81% of population
rural: 56% of population
total: 61% of population
unimproved:
urban: 19% of population
rural: 44% of population
total: 39% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 67% of population
rural: 18% of population
total: 29% of population
unimproved:
urban: 33% of population
rural: 82% of population
total: 71% of population (2008)
 
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0.5% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
 
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63,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
 
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3,100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45
 
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degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)
 
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28.8% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 20
 
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2.1% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 153
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 73.6%
male: 84.7%
female: 64.1% (2004 est.)
 
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total: 10 years
male: 10 years
female: 9 years (2007)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: Kingdom of Cambodia
conventional short form: Cambodia
local long form: Preahreacheanachakr Kampuchea (phonetic pronunciation)
local short form: Kampuchea
former: Khmer Republic, Democratic Kampuchea, People's Republic of Kampuchea, State of Cambodia
 
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multiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy
 
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name: Phnom Penh
geographic coordinates: 11 33 N, 104 55 E
time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
 
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23 provinces (khett, singular and plural) and 1 municipality (krong, singular and plural)
provinces: Banteay Mean Choay, Batdambang, Kampong Cham, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Spoe, Kampong Thum, Kampot, Kandal, Kaoh Kong, Keb, Krachen, Mondol Kiri, Otdar Mean Choay, Pailin, Pouthisat, Preah Seihanu (Sihanoukville), Preah Vihear, Prey Veng, Rotanokiri, Siem Reab, Stoeng Treng, Svay Rieng, Takev
municipalities: Phnum Penh (Phnom Penh)
 
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9 November 1953 (from France)
 
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Independence Day, 9 November (1953)
 
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promulgated 21 September 1993
 
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civil law system (influenced by the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia) customary law, Communist legal theory, and common law
 
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accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
 
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18 years of age; universal
 
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chief of state: King Norodom SIHAMONI (since 29 October 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister HUN SEN (since 14 January 1985) [co-prime minister from 1993 to 1997]; Permanent Deputy Prime Minister MEN SAM AN (since 25 September 2008); Deputy Prime Ministers SAR KHENG (since 3 February 1992); SOK AN, TEA BANH, HOR NAMHONG, NHEK BUNCHHAY (since 16 July 2004); BIN CHHIN (since 5 September 2007); KEAT CHHON, YIM CHHAI LY (since 24 September 2008); KE KIMYAN (since 12 March 2009)
cabinet: Council of Ministers named by the prime minister and appointed by the monarch
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elections: the king chosen by a Royal Throne Council from among all eligible males of royal descent; following legislative elections, a member of the majority party or majority coalition named prime minister by the Chairman of the National Assembly and appointed by the king
 
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bicameral, consists of the Senate (61 seats; 2 members appointed by the monarch, 2 elected by the National Assembly, and 57 elected by parliamentarians and commune councils; members serve five-year terms) and the National Assembly (123 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 22 January 2006 (next to be held in January 2012); National Assembly - last held on 27 July 2008 (next to be held in July 2013)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - CPP 69%, FUNCINPEC 21%, SRP 10%; seats by party - CPP 45, FUNCINPEC 10, SRP 2; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - CPP 58%, SRP 22%, HRP 7%; NRP 6%; FUNCINPEC 5%; others 2%; seats by party - CPP 90, SRP 26, HRP 3, FUNCINPEC 2, NRP 2
 
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Supreme Council of the Magistracy (provided for in the constitution and formed in December 1997); Supreme Court (and lower courts) exercises judicial authority
 
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Cambodian People's Party or CPP [CHEA SIM]; Human Rights Party or HRP [KHEM SOKHA, also spelled KEM SOKHA]; National United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful, and Cooperative Cambodia or FUNCINPEC [KEV PUT REAKSMEI]; Nationalist Party or NP [CHHIM SEAK LENG] (formerly the NRP); Sam Rangsi Party or SRP [SAM RANGSI, also spelled SAM RAINSY]
 
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Cambodian Freedom Fighters or CFF; Partnership for Transparency Fund or PTF (anti-corruption organization); Students Movement for Democracy; The Committee for Free and Fair Elections or Comfrel
other: human rights organizations; vendors
 
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ADB, ARF, ASEAN, CICA, CICA (observer), EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (subscriber), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMISS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador HENG HEM
chancery: 4530 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
telephone: [1] (202) 726-7742
FAX: [1] (202) 726-8381
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Jeff DIGLE
embassy: #1, Street 96, Sangkat Wat Phnom, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
mailing address: Box P, APO AP 96546
telephone: [855] (23) 728-000
FAX: [855] (23) 728-600
 
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three horizontal bands of blue (top), red (double width), and blue with a white three-towered temple representing Angkor Wat outlined in black in the center of the red band; red and blue are traditional Cambodian colors
note: only national flag to incorporate an actual building in its design
 
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Angkor Wat temple; kouprey (wild ox)
 
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name: "Nokoreach" (Royal Kingdom)
lyrics/music: CHUON NAT/F. PERRUCHOT and J. JEKYLL
note: adopted 1941, restored 1993; the anthem, based on a Cambodian folk tune, was restored after the defeat of the Communist regime
 
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Economy

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From 2004 to 2007, the economy grew about 10% per year, driven largely by an expansion in the garment sector, construction, agriculture, and tourism. GDP contracted slightly in 2009 as a result of the global economic slowdown, but climbed more than 4% in 1010, driven by renewed exports. With the January 2005 expiration of a WTO Agreement on Textiles and Clothing, Cambodian textile producers were forced to compete directly with lower-priced countries such as China, India, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. The garment industry currently employs more than 280,000 people - about 5% of the work force - and contributes more than 70% of Cambodia's exports. In 2005, exploitable oil deposits were found beneath Cambodia's territorial waters, representing a new revenue stream for the government if commercial extraction begins. Mining also is attracting significant investor interest, particularly in the northern parts of the country. The government has said opportunities exist for mining bauxite, gold, iron and gems. In 2006, a US-Cambodia bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) was signed, and several rounds of discussions have been held since 2007. Rubber exports increased about 25% in 2009 due to rising global demand. The tourism industry has continued to grow rapidly, with foreign arrivals exceeding 2 million per year in 2007-08; however, economic troubles abroad dampened growth in 2009. The global financial crisis is weakening demand for Cambodian exports, and construction is declining due to a shortage of credit. The long-term development of the economy remains a daunting challenge. The Cambodian government is working with bilateral and multilateral donors, including the World Bank and IMF, to address the country's many pressing needs. The major economic challenge for Cambodia over the next decade will be fashioning an economic environment in which the private sector can create enough jobs to handle Cambodia's demographic imbalance. More than 50% of the population is less than 25 years old. The population lacks education and productive skills, particularly in the poverty-ridden countryside, which suffers from an almost total lack of basic infrastructure.
 
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$30.18 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108
$28.47 billion (2009 est.)
$29.04 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$11.63 billion (2010 est.)
 
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6% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
-2% (2009 est.)
6.7% (2008 est.)
 
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$2,100 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189
$2,000 (2009 est.)
$2,100 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 33.4%
industry: 21.4%
services: 45.2% (2009 est.)
 
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8.8 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
 
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agriculture: 57.6%
industry: 15.9%
services: 26.5% (2009 est.)
 
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3.5% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27
2.5% (2000 est.)
 
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31% (2007 est.)
 
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lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 37.3% (2007)
 
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44.4 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
40 (2004 est.)
 
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20.4% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108
 
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revenues: $1.472 billion
expenditures: $2.159 billion (2010 est.)
 
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12.7% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
 
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-5.9% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
 
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4% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
-0.7% (2009 est.)
 
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NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 72
5.25% (31 December 2007)
 
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15.633% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
15.812% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$789.9 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
$742.6 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$4.832 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126
$3.875 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$2.64 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
$1.979 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$NA
 
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rice, rubber, corn, vegetables, cashews, tapioca, silk
 
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tourism, garments, construction, rice milling, fishing, wood and wood products, rubber, cement, gem mining, textiles
 
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5.7% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
 
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1.377 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143
 
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1.559 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144
 
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
 
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374 million kWh (2008 est.)
 
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0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
 
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32,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
 
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0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160
 
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33,200 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
 
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0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167
 
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0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
 
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-$990.6 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
-$865.7 million (2009 est.)
 
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$5.527 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
$4.302 billion (2009 est.)
 
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clothing, timber, rubber, rice, fish, tobacco, footwear
 
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US 47.3%, Canada 7.5%, UK 6.8%, Germany 6.4%, Thailand 4.3%, Japan 4.1% (2010)
 
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$7.38 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103
$5.876 billion (2009 est.)
 
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petroleum products, cigarettes, gold, construction materials, machinery, motor vehicles, pharmaceutical products
 
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Thailand 26.5%, Singapore 25.1%, China 15.3%, Hong Kong 6.6%, Vietnam 6.5% (2010)
 
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$3.802 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93
$3.288 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$4.431 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
$4.364 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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riels (KHR) per US dollar -
4,145 (2010)
4,139 (2009)
4,070.94 (2008)
4,006 (2007)
4,103 (2006)
 
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Communications

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358,800 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 109
 
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8.151 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 82
 
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general assessment: adequate fixed-line and/or cellular service in Phnom Penh and other provincial cities; mobile-cellular phone systems are widely used in urban areas to bypass deficiencies in the fixed-line network; mobile-phone coverage is rapidly expanding in rural areas
domestic: fixed-line connections stand at about 2 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular usage, aided by competition among service providers, is increasing rapidly and stands at about 55 per 100 persons
international: country code - 855; adequate but expensive landline and cellular service available to all countries from Phnom Penh and major provincial cities; satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region) (2009)
 
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mixture of state-owned, joint public-private, and privately-owned broadcast media; 9 TV broadcast stations with most operating on multiple channels, including 1 state-operated station broadcasting from multiple locations, 6 stations either jointly operated or privately-owned with some broadcasting from several locations, and 2 TV relay stations - one relaying a French television station and the other relaying a Vietnamese television station; multi-channel cable and satellite systems are available; roughly 50 radio broadcast stations - 1 state-owned broadcaster with multiple stations and a large mixture of public and private broadcasters; several international broadcasters are available (2009)
 
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.kh
 
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5,452 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 138
 
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78,500 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 167
 
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Transportation

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17 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 141
 
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total: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)
 
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total: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 1 (2010)
 
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1 (2010)
 
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total: 690 km
country comparison to the world: 101
narrow gauge: 690 km 1.000-m gauge
note: under restoration (2010)
 
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total: 38,093 km
country comparison to the world: 93
paved: 2,977 km
unpaved: 35,116 km (2007)
 
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2,400 km (mainly on Mekong River) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 37
 
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total: 620
country comparison to the world: 20
by type: bulk carrier 40, cargo 526, carrier 5, chemical tanker 5, container 5, liquefied gas 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 7, petroleum tanker 12, refrigerated cargo 13, roll on/roll off 5
foreign-owned: 426 (Belgium 1, Canada 2, China 203, Cyprus 8, Egypt 12, Estonia 1, French Polynesia 1, Gabon 1, Greece 2, Hong Kong 11, Indonesia 2, Japan 2, Latvia 1, Lebanon 6, Netherlands 1, Romania 1, Russia 60, Singapore 4, South Korea 11, Syria 22, Taiwan 1, Turkey 26, UAE 2, UK 3, Ukraine 37, US 4, Vietnam 1)
note: this country allows large numbers of ships owned by foreign entities to be registered in its national shipping registry and to fly its flag; these ships operate under the laws of the flag state (2010)
 
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Phnom Penh, Kampong Saom (Sihanoukville)
 
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Military

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Royal Cambodian Armed Forces: Royal Cambodian Army, Royal Khmer Navy, Royal Cambodian Air Force (2011)
 
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conscription law of October 2006 requires all males between 18-30 to register for military service; 18-month service obligation (2006)
 
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males age 16-49: 3,883,724
females age 16-49: 4,003,585 (2010 est.)
 
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
males age 16-49: 2,638,167
females age 16-49: 2,965,328 (2010 est.)
 
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
male: 151,143
female: 154,542 (2010 est.)
 
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
3% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
 
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Transnational Issues

Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
Cambodia is concerned about Laos' extensive upstream dam construction; Cambodia and Thailand dispute sections of boundary; in 2011 Thailand and Cambodia resorted to arms in the dispute over the location of the boundary on the precipice surmounted by Preah Vihear temple ruins, awarded to Cambodia by ICJ decision in 1962 and part of a planned UN World Heritage site; Cambodia accuses Vietnam of a wide variety of illicit cross-border activities; Progress on a joint development area with Vietnam is hampered by an unresolved dispute over sovereignty of offshore islands
 
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narcotics-related corruption reportedly involving some in the government, military, and police; limited methamphetamine production; vulnerable to money laundering due to its cash-based economy and porous borders
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