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Cambodia at a Glance

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Capital:

Phnom Penh

Land:

176,520 sq km

Currency (code):

riel (KHR)

Exchange rates:

riels per US dollar - 4,006 (2007), 4,103 (2006), 4,092.5 (2005), 4,016.25 (2004), 3,973.33 (2003)

Population:

14,241,640

Age structure:

  • 0-14 years: 33.2% (male 2,389,668/female 2,338,838)
  • 15-64 years: 63.2% (male 4,372,480/female 4,627,895)
  • 65 years and over: 3.6% (male 193,338/female 319,421) (2008 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.752% (2008 est.)

Religions:

Theravada Buddhist 95%, other 5%

Climate:

Cambodia’s climate is tropical. Annual temperatures average between 80 and 100°F (26–38°C). The dry season extends from December to April (the hottest month). The rainy season is from May to November, with October as the wettest month.

Language:

Cambodians speak the Khmer language. The closest languages to modern Khmer are Thai (Thailand) and Lao (Laos). Cambodians speak the Khmer language. The closest languages to modern Khmer are Thai (Thailand) and Lao (Laos).

General Attitudes:

Although Pol Pot destroyed the outer vestiges of Buddhism in Cambodia, the religion continued to shape people’s perspectives. Many believe that Buddhist teachings helped people survive the years of war and poverty. Cambodians are traditionally known as optimists. Optimism was hard to find between 1975 and 1990, but the return of King Sihanouk and the chance for peace encouraged people’s hopes for a better life. Citizens worked to clear land mines, build schools, reform social institutions, and revive traditions.

Even with peace restored, Cambodian society still suffers from the effects of years without education and social order. Corruption and banditry make people fearful, and many individuals display a survival mentality that prevents them from worrying about ethics, future consequences of current actions, and the needs of others. As the political situation remains stable, traditional community and cooperative values are returning as pillars of society.

Greetings:

Cambodians greet by placing both hands together in a prayer position at chest level without touching the body. The higher the hands are held, the greater the sign of respect, although they are not generally held above the level of the nose. This gesture is accompanied by a slight bow to show respect for persons of higher status or age. Shaking hands is not common in Cambodia; indeed, it often embarrasses women if attempted. Although there are many greeting phrases, one common greeting is Sok sebai? (How are you?)

Labor force:

7 million (2003 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

  • Not Available

Unemployment rate:

2.5% (2000 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

4.4% (2007 est.)

Natural resources:

oil and gas, timber, gemstones, iron ore, manganese, phosphates, hydropower potential

Exports:

$4.1 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)

Exports – commodities:

clothing, timber, rubber, rice, fish, tobacco, footwear

Exports - partners:

US 53.3%, Hong Kong 15.2%, Germany 6.6%, UK 4.3% (2006)

Imports:

$5.3 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)

Imports – commodities:

petroleum products, cigarettes, gold, construction materials, machinery, motor vehicles, pharmaceutical products

Imports - partners:

Hong Kong 18.1%, China 17.5%, Thailand 13.9%, Taiwan 12.7%, Vietnam 9%, Singapore 5.3%, South Korea 4.9%, Japan 4.3% (2006)

 

References:

Cambodia.” CultureGrams World Edition. 2008. ProQuest. <http://online.culturegrams.com>.

Cambodia.” THE WORLD FACTBOOK. 2008. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. <https://www.cia.gov>.

Cambodia.” Factsheet. May, 2007. Economist Intelligence Unit. <http://www.economist.com>

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