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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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Economy - overview
From 2004 to 2008, 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 6% in 2010 and 6.7 in 2011, driven by tourism and 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 300,000 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 potential revenue stream for the government when 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 50% in 2011 due to continued demand for raw rubber, particularly from China, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The tourism industry has continued to grow rapidly with foreign arrivals exceeding 2 million per year since 2007; economic troubles abroad dampened growth in 2009 but arrivals rebounded to over 2 million in 2010-11. The global financial crisis is weakening demand for many 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.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 107
$33.89 billion (2011 est.)
$31.95 billion (2010 est.)
$30.15 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$12.86 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 42
6.1% (2011 est.)
6% (2010 est.)
0.1% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 186
$2,200 (2011 est.)
$2,100 (2010 est.)
$2,000 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 30%
Industry 30%
Services 40% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 54
8.8 million (2010 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 57.6%
Industry 15.9%
Services 26.5% (2009 est.)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 32
3.5% (2007 est.)
2.5% (2000 est.)

Population below poverty line
31% (2007 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% 3%
Highest 10% 37.3% (2007)

Distribution of family income - gini index World Ranking: 46
44.4 (2007 est.)
40 (2004 est.)

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 50
24.3% of GDP (2011 est.)

Revenues $2.018 billion
Expenditures $2.669 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 191
15.7% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 163
-5.1% of GDP (2011 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 141
5.5% (2011 est.)
4% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate World Ranking: 67
NA% (31 December 2008)
5.25% (31 December 2007)

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 37
15.6% (31 December 2011 est.)
15.633% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 134
$1.67 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$789.9 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 128
$5.037 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$4.832 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 126
$3.115 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$2.64 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

Agriculture - products
Rice, rubber, corn, vegetables, cashews, cassava (manioc), silk

Tourism, garments, construction, rice milling, fishing, wood and wood products, rubber, cement, gem mining, textiles

Industrial production growth rate World Ranking: 56
5.7% (2010 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 141
1.377 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 141
1.559 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
374 million kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 159
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 111
32,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 143
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 99
33,200 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 114
0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 161
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 159
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 72
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 166
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 159
0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 124
-$1.126 billion (2011 est.)
-$879.2 million (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 114
$5.35 billion (2011 est.)
$5.068 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Clothing, timber, rubber, rice, fish, tobacco, footwear

Exports - partners
US 41.5%, Canada 8.6%, Germany 8.2%, UK 7.9%, Japan 4.6% (2011)

Imports World Ranking: 113
$6.963 billion (2011 est.)
$6.791 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Petroleum products, cigarettes, gold, construction materials, machinery, motor vehicles, pharmaceutical products

Imports - partners
Thailand 29.6%, China 23.9%, Singapore 9.4%, Hong Kong 7.2%, Vietnam 5.1%, South Korea 4.6% (2011)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 97
$4.069 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$3.802 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 116
$5.028 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$4.676 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Exchange rates
Riels (KHR) per US dollar -
4,058.5 (2011 est.)
4,184.9 (2010 est.)
4,139 (2009)
4,070.94 (2008)
4,006 (2007)

Fiscal year
Calendar year


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