Cambodia is a fast-growing, highly open economy, and just attained lower-middle-income status this year. The country’s strategic location, China’s changing trade patterns, and ongoing regional integration provide further opportunities. The good news is that government has taken important steps (for example, investing in the energy sector to reduce the cost of doing business and improving services in trade, payment, and business registration) that will help Cambodia capitalise on these opportunities. Nonetheless, further policy actions are needed to promote sustained and inclusive growth.
BY SETSUKO YAMAZAKI
The world of work has been changing. To sustain progress, countries must invest in and value various forms of work through policies and national strategies that create job opportunities, ensure workers’ rights and well-being and develop targeted actions. This is the proposition in the 2015 Human Development Report, launched on December 14 in Ethiopia.
In January 2014, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that he would oversee a wide-ranging review of reforms, particularly in the economic and social arenas. Since then public debate has instead been dominated by the possible impact of new legislation, some of it controversial. There has been far less attention to the fruits of the government’s reform efforts.
For that reason the Asia Foundation (TAF) earlier this year launched the Reform Inventory Initiative (RII) – an annual ministry-by-ministry review of reforms initiated or reinforced since the 2013 election. Rather than critiquing the government’s approach, RII, guided by an advisory group, seeks to highlight progress on reform.
By: Sonali Jain-Chandra and Yong Sarah Zhou
Cambodia’s robust economic performance over the past two decades has resulted in a substantial reduction in poverty and led to its imminent transition to a lower middle-income country. Looking ahead, further regional integration through the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and Cambodia’s strategic location close to fast-growing major economies can provide tailwinds as Asia rebalances and production networks further integrate.
However, to capitalise on these opportunities and achieve sustainable and inclusive growth, many obstacles must be overcome and vulnerabilities addressed.
By: Axel van Trotsenburg
Before I set foot in this beautiful country, I was told the story of Siv Mao and her newborn baby.
Last year, Siv Mao, a young woman from a village in northern Cambodia gave birth to a boy after an emergency Caesarean section at a new hospital in her province’s capital.
The boy was named Rith Samnang “Lucky” for a good reason: without the doctors and modern equipment in the new 16 Makara Hospital in Preah Vihear, he wouldn’t have been able to survive.
The traditional midwife had difficulty assisting the birth at her home, and other hospitals were far away.
By: Setsuko Yamazaki
Cambodia has made great progress in economic growth, poverty reduction and human development. However, a significant proportion of the population remains vulnerable to slipping back to poverty.
We observed the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on Saturday, making this a fitting time to look into the challenges and how Cambodia can promote more inclusive growth and sustainability, particularly in light of Cambodia’s goal to become an Upper Middle-Income Country (MIC) by 2030, and the global launch of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in New York last month.
Disclaimer: All views expressed here belong to their respective author and do not represent the views of Enrich Institute