Issues and Globalization
Cambodia: Issues and Globalization
In the globalization trend of the world, many countries join in regional or international organization as EU, APEC, ASEAN, and especially, WTO, the largest global organization. When they join those organization, they hope to reform their own economies and seek for chances to access foreign markets. However, WTO, or globalization, is not a game that every player can win. There are not only winners but also losers in this game. Let us take a look at the case of Cambodia, which has just joined WTO for nearly a decade. Overview
Cambodia is a country in South East Asia, which has the border with Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. The total area of Cambodia is 181,400 sq. Km with the coastline 445km and the population is 14,607,992 as of 2010 (Key Data 1). During 20th century, Cambodia had gone through a fierce history: “Cambodia became a protectorate of France in 1863, and was made part of the French Indochina Union in the 1880s. Cambodia gained independence from France in 1953, and the country became the King- dom of Cambodia under King Sihanouk, who became prime minister in 1955 and head of state in 1960. Sihanouk had stable control of the country until the mid-1960s, but as the Vietnam War intensified after 1965, the political conditions in Cambodia became more complicated. By 1970, the Cambodian monarchy was abolished and the Southeast Asian country was proclaimed to be the Khmer Republic. Following a five-year struggle, Communist Khmer Rouge forces captured Phnom Penh in 1975 and ordered the evacuation of all cities and towns; over 1.7 million people died from execution, starvation, disease or enforced hardships. A 1978 Vietnamese invasion drove the Khmer Rouge into the countryside and touched off more than a decade of fighting.” (Key Data 1) Until the Paris Peace Agreement was signed in 1991, Cambodia could back to the mainstream of the international economy with an election. However, there were still some conflicts about the recovery process so that until 1997, Cambodia could totally focus on its economic growth.
After stabilized all the domestic issues, Cambodia acted in such a very active way to keep pace with the globalization trend which was strongly growing all over the world: “With the formation of the coalition government in November 1998 and the establishment of relative peace and security, Cambodia's relations with donor countries and international organizations began to improve. It has also made efforts to improve regional relations. In April 1999, Cambodia became a full member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEANS). Also in 1999, the government began to strengthen relations with neighboring Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, as well as with China. Cambodia has one of the most open economies in Asia, and it is willing to reduce tariffs further in line with its obligations under the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement. In 2003, the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreed to admit Cambodia, and in August 2004 the Cambodian parliament ratified entry into the WTO.” (Economic Overview, 47). It was such an outstanding effort for joining WTO in 2004 while Cambodia’s neighbor, Vietnam, which was liberalized 30 years before must wait 3 years later than Cambodia to join WTO. Simultaneously, Cambodia also sought for good relationships with neighbor countries in region. One of the most important things that caused the conflict in the region was borders issue. Therefore, Cambodia carried out many activities to remove those conflicts and strengthen the relationship with its neighbors. •
In February 2000, Cambodia and Laos agreed to continue discussions to demarcate their unclear border. •
In June 2000, Cambodia and Thailand opened talks in Phnom Penh in an effort to resolve their long- lasting border conflict. •
In August 2002 Cambodian Co-Defense Ministers Tea Banh and Prince Sisawat Sirirat met with their...
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