Cambodia Overview

Cambodia’s economic growth has held up well despite domestic uncertainty and instability in neighboring countries. Real growth for 2014 is estimated to reach 7.2%, driven by the garment, construction, and services sectors. Bolstered by a strengthening global economy and with the expectation of renewed confidence and the return of political stability in July 2014 after a year-long political deadlock, Cambodia’s real economic growth rate for 2015 is expected to reach 7.5%.

  • Country: Kingdom of Cambodia
  • National flag
  • Cities:  Phnom Penh, the capital city, and Siem Reap, 7km from the wonder of Angkor, are the two largest political, cultural and economic centers.
  • Population: Estimated at 14 million. The Khmer constitute 95% of the population. The remainder is composed of hill tribe groups, Cham, Vietnamese (1%), Chinese (4%), and Thais. The biggest population concentrates in Phnom Penh, with more than one million people.
  • Area: 181,035 square km, roughly a half of Italy or Vietnam.
  • Land Borders: North borders Laos, all the East to Vietnam, and shares a long part of North and Northwest borders with the land of Thailand.
  • Sea Borders: Southwest, to the Gulf of Thailand.
  • Climate: Tropical.
  • Geography: Tonle Sap Lake, Mekong River, Tonle Sap River, Bassac River, Mt. Oral.
  • Tourist Attractions: Angkor Wat, Bayon, Temples of Angkor, National Museum, Royal Palace, Killing Fields, Beaches, Eco-tourism.
  • Language: Khmer, the official language, is a non-tonal language of the Mon  Khmer family, enriched by Pali and Sanskrit. English is the second major language, closely followed by French, Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian, are also spoken in Cambodia. Literacy rate is 60%, a legacy of the Pol Pot years.
  • Religion: Religious people accounts for 95% of the population. Theravada Buddhism was almost annihilated under the 1975  1979 reign of terror of the Khmer Rouge, but it has since been reinstated as the national religion of Cambodia. Minority groups adhere to other religion such as Catholicism (mainly Vietnamese) and Sunni Muslim (Cham).
  • Government: Constitutional Monarchy. UN-supervised elections in 1993 resulted in a coalition government composed of FUNCINPEC (United Front of an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful, and Cooperative Cambodia) and CPP (Cambodian People Party). The Prime Minister is Hun Sen. King Norodom Sihanouk is the Head of the State
  • Economy: Agriculture employs about 75% of the workforce. Top exports are timber, rubber, cane furniture and garments.
  • Festival and official HolidaysThe biggest festival is Cambodian New Year in mid-April, similar to Laos and Thai celebrations. In November there are boat races to celebrate the reversing current of the Tonle Sap River with dozens of colorful dug-out row boats compete for prizes and honors. Most legal holidays fall on the same dates every year. Some holidays such as Khmer New Year, Visakhaboja, Royal Ploughing Ceremony, Prachum Ben and the Water Festival follow the lunar calendar and move a few days forward or back each year. Some holidays which are not legal holidays in Cambodia such as Chinese New Year receive almost as much attention and celebration as legal holidays.