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Cambodia A "spy" Guide Volume 1 Strategic Information
The Kingdom of Cambodia is a country in South East Asia with a population of over 14 million people. The kingdom's capital and largest city is Phnom Penh. Cambodia is the successor state of the once powerful Hindu and Buddhist Khmer Empire. which ruled most of the Indochinese Peninsula between the 11th and 14th centuries. A citizen of Cambodia is usually identified as "Cambodian" or "Khmer." though the latter strictly refers to ethnic Khmers. Most Cambodians are Theravada Buddhists of Khmer extraction. but the country also has a substantial number of predominantly Muslim Cham. as well as ethnic Chinese. Viemamese and small animist hill tribes.
The Kingdom of Cambodia is a country in South East Asia with a population of over 14 million people. The kingdom's capital and largest city is Phnom Penh. Cambodia is the successor state of the once powerful Hindu and Buddhist Khmer Empire, which ruled most of the Indochinese Peninsula between the 11th and 14th centuries. A citizen of Cambodia is usually identified as "Cambodian" or "Khmer," though the latter strictly refers to ethnic Khmers. Most Cambodians are Theravada Buddhists of Khmer extraction, but the country also has a substantial number of predominantly Muslim Cham, as well as ethnic Chinese, Vietnamese and small animist hill tribers.
The recovery of Cambodia's economy slowed dramatically in 1997-98, due to the regional economic crisis, civil violence, and political infighting. Foreign investment and tourism also fell off drastically. Since then however, growth has been steady. In 1999, the first full year of peace in 30 years, progress was made on economic reforms and growth resumed at 5.0%. Despite severe flooding, GDP grew at 5.0% in 2000, 6.3% in 2001, and 5.2% in 2002. Tourism was Cambodia's fastest growing industry, with arrivals increasing from 219,000 in 1997 to 1,055,000 in 2004. During 2003 and 2004 the growth rate remained steady at 5.0%, while in 2004 inflation was at 1.7% and exports at $1.6 billion USD. As of 2005, GDP per capita in PPP terms was $2,200, which ranked 178th (out of 233) countries.
The older population often lacks education, particularly in the countryside, which suffers from a lack of basic infrastructure. Fear of renewed political instability and corruption within the government discourage foreign investment and delay foreign aid, although there has been significant assistance from bilateral and multilateral donors. Donors pledged $504 million to the country in 2004, while the Asian Development Bank alone has provided $850 million in loans, grants, and technical assistance. The tourism industry is the country's second-greatest source of hard currency after the textile industry. Between January and December 2007, visitor arrivals were 2.0 million, an increase of 18.5% over the same period in 2006. Most visitors (51%) arrived through Siem Reap with the remainder (49%) through Phnom Penh and other destinations.  Other tourist destinations include Sihanoukville in the south east which has several popular beaches, and the area around Kampot and Kep including the Bokor Hill Station.
Final economic indicators for 2007 are not yet available. 2006 GDP was $7.265 billion (per capita GDP $513), with annual growth of 10.8% Estimates for 2007 are for a GDP of $8.251 billion (per capita $571) and annual growth of 8.5%. Inflation for 2006 was 2.6%, and the current estimate for final 2007 inflation is 6.2%.
Cambodia's per capita income is rapidly increasing, but is low compared with other countries in region. Most rural households depend on agriculture and its related sub-sectors. Rice, fish, timber, garments and rubber are Cambodia's major exports. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) reintroduced more than 750 traditional rice varieties to Cambodia from its rice seed bank in the philippines. These varieties had been collected in the 1960s. In 1987, the Australian government funded IRRI to assist Cambodia to improve its rice production. By 2000, Cambodia was once again self-sufficient in rice. However, few Cambodian farmers grow other crops leaving them vulnerable to crop failure. In recent years, various international aid organisations have begun crop diversification programs to encourage farmers to grow other crops.
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