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East & Southeast Asia :: Cambodia
page last updated on December 7, 2010
Flag of Cambodia
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Cambodia
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Map of Cambodia
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of Cambodia
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Introduction ::Cambodia
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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 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 ::Cambodia
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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: 89
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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Current Weather
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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2,700 sq km (2003)
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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 ::Cambodia
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14,453,680
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 (July 2010 est.)
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0-14 years: 32.6% (male 2,388,922/female 2,336,439)
15-64 years: 63.8% (male 4,498,568/female 4,743,677)
65 years and over: 3.6% (male 197,649/female 329,038) (2010 est.)
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total: 22.6 years
male: 21.8 years
female: 23.3 years (2010 est.)
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1.705% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
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25.58 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
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8.19 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
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-0.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population
country comparison to the world: 136
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urban population: 22% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 4.6% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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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 (2010 est.)
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total: 56.94 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 38
male: 64.09 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 49.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
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total population: 62.28 years
country comparison to the world: 178
male: 59.95 years
female: 64.72 years (2010 est.)
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2.9 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
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0.8% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
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75,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
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6,900 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
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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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noun: Cambodian(s)
adjective: Cambodian
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Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%, Chinese 1%, other 4%
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Buddhist 96.4%, Muslim 2.1%, other 1.3%, unspecified 0.2% (1998 census)
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Khmer (official) 95%, French, English
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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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1.6% of GDP (2007)
country comparison to the world: 176
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Government ::Cambodia
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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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primarily a civil law mixture of French-influenced codes from the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) period, royal decrees, and acts of the legislature with influences of customary law and remnants of communist legal theory; increasing influence of common law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
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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 2011); 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, EAS, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (subscriber), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIS, 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 Carol A. RODLEY
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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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 ::Cambodia
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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 dropped to below 7% growth in 2008 and probably contracted in 2009 as a result of the global economic slowdown. 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 21 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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$27.88 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
$28.3 billion (2008 est.)
$26.95 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
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$10.87 billion (2009 est.)
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-1.5% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
5% (2008 est.)
10.2% (2007 est.)
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$2,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188
$2,000 (2008 est.)
$2,000 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
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agriculture: 29%
industry: 30%
services: 41% (2007 est.)
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8 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
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agriculture: 67.9%
industry: 12.7%
services: 19.5% (2009 est.)
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3.5% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
2.5% (2000 est.)
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31% (2004)
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lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 34.2% (2007)
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43 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
40 (2004 est.)
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20.9% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
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revenues: $1.185 billion
expenditures: $1.84 billion (2009 est.)
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-0.7% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
25% (2008 est.)
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NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 84
5.25% (31 December 2007)
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17% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 42
16.01% (31 December 2008)
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$742.6 million (31 December 2009)
$585.7 million (31 December 2008)
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$3.875 billion (31 December 2009)
$2.919 billion (31 December 2008)
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$2.019 billion (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 121
$1.67 billion (31 December 2008)
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$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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-6.5% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
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1.273 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
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1.272 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143
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0 kWh (2008 est.)
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167 million kWh (2007 est.)
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0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 200
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4,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 176
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0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206
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30,970 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
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0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 196
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 190
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
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0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
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-$865.7 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
-$1.051 billion (2008 est.)
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$4.302 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
$4.708 billion (2008 est.)
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clothing, timber, rubber, rice, fish, tobacco, footwear
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US 45.32%, Singapore 9.46%, Germany 7.52%, UK 7.07%, Canada 6.31%, Vietnam 4.15% (2009)
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$5.876 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
$6.509 billion (2008 est.)
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petroleum products, cigarettes, gold, construction materials, machinery, motor vehicles, pharmaceutical products
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Thailand 24.83%, Vietnam 19.73%, China 14.08%, Singapore 11.34%, Hong Kong 7.41%, Taiwan 5.1%, South Korea 4.06% (2009)
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$3.289 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95
$2.641 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
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$4.284 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
$4.215 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
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riels (KHR) per US dollar - 4,135.39 (2009), 4,070.94 (2008), 4,006 (2007), 4,103 (2006), 4,092.5 (2005)
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Communications ::Cambodia
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54,200 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 160
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5.593 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 90
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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 well less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular usage, aided by increasing competition among service providers, is increasing and stands at 40 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: 139
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74,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 162
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Transportation ::Cambodia
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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: 106
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: 91
paved: 2,977 km
unpaved: 35,116 km (2007)
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2,400 km (mainly on Mekong River) (2008)
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) (2010)
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Phnom Penh, Kampong Saom (Sihanoukville)
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Military ::Cambodia
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Royal Cambodian Armed Forces: Royal Cambodian Army, Royal Khmer Navy, Royal Cambodian Air Force (2010)
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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: 3,980,995
females age 16-49: 3,970,244 (2010 est.)
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males age 16-49: 2,751,618
females age 16-49: 2,835,807 (2010 est.)
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male: 168,519
female: 166,418 (2010 est.)
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3% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
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Transnational Issues ::Cambodia
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Cambodia and Thailand dispute sections of boundary with missing boundary markers and claims of Thai encroachments into Cambodian territory; maritime boundary with Vietnam is hampered by unresolved dispute over sovereignty of offshore islands; Thailand accuses Cambodia of obstructing inclusion of Thai areas near Preah Vihear temple ruins, awarded to Cambodia by ICJ decision in 1962, as part of a planned UN World Heritage site
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current situation: Cambodia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; women and girls are trafficked to Thailand and Malaysia for exploitative labor as domestic workers and forced prostitution; parents sometimes sell their children into involuntary servitude to serve as beggars, into brothels for commercial sexual exploitation, or into domestic servitude
tier rating: Cambodia is placed on Tier 2 Watch List because it does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but it is making significant efforts to do so; the government did not show evidence of progress in convicting and punishing human trafficking offenders - including complicit public officials - and protecting trafficking victims (2009)
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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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The online Factbook is updated bi-weekly. ISSN 1553-8133
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