Cambodia 2040: International Relations and Governance

Cambodia has experienced drastic changes since the signing of the Paris Peace Accords in 1991. Twenty-five years later, Cambodia is a lower middle-income country with consistently high GDP growth rates and concomitant improvements in human security as measured by the Human Development Index (HDI). The question that Cambodia confronts today is a seemingly simple one, but which is in fact remarkably complex: Whither Cambodia? From energy to industrialization to agriculture, how are the diverse sectors of Cambodian society and the Cambodian economy likely to develop over the next two decades?

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Chapter I - Introduction

  • Introduction

    Cambodia has experienced drastic changes since the signing of the Paris Peace Accords in 1991. Twenty-five years later, Cambodia is a lower middle-income country with consistently high GDP growth rates and concomitant improvements in human security as measured by the Human Development Index (HDI). The question that Cambodia confronts today is a seemingly simple one, but which is in fact remarkably complex: Whither Cambodia? From energy to industrialization to agriculture, how are the diverse sectors of Cambodian society and the Cambodian economy likely to develop over the next two decades?

    by Deth Sok Udom, Bradley J. Murg, Ou Virak, Michael Renfrew

Chapter 2 - Global Megatrends: How Cambodia Should Respond

  • Global Megatrends: How Cambodia Should Respond

    The article is part of the book series Cambodia 2040, which is published by Future Forum and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Cambodia. Enjoy the read!

    In this chapter of Cambodia 2040, I aim to provide an overview of the main global megatrends confronting Cambodia – as well as the broader Mekong, Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific regions – and to outline how it should respond. With the 2020s now underway, and with some analysts starting to cast a wary eye towards 2030, I am looking further down the track to the year 2040, with the goal of establishing a positive vision for Cambodia to aspire to for the middle part of this century.

    by Ou Virak

Chapter 3 - Geopolitics, Great Power Competition, and Cambodia Foreign Policy

  • Geopolitics, Great Power Competition, and Cambodian Foreign Policy

    The article is part of the book series Cambodia 2040, which is published by Future Forum and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Cambodia. Enjoy the read!

    Cambodian foreign policy in the next 20 years will be shaped by the developing re-configuration of regional and global political powers, dictated by a relentless competition for influence to secure supremacy.

    by Pou Sothirak

Chapter 4 - The Mekong River and Mekong Subregion Cooperation

  • The Mekong River and Mekong Subregion Cooperation

    The article is part of the book series Cambodia 2040, which is published by Future Forum and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Cambodia. Enjoy the read!

    With a major transition to renewable energy, the Mekong, metaphorically speaking, would be put to rest, allowing biodiversity to revitalize itself. The river flow will return to normal, minimizing the risk of drought during the dry season and flooding during the rainy season. The livelihoods of those along the Mekong and millions of others that depend on it would be improved, their living standard would be increased through various means including the advancement of the eco-tourism and hospitality industries.

    by Pich Charadine

Chapter 5 - Soft Power and Environmental Diplomacy

  • Soft Power and Environmental Diplomacy

    The article is part of the book series Cambodia 2040, which is published by Future Forum and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Cambodia. Enjoy the read!

    Climate change is widely agreed to be one of the major questions determining how the next two decades will play out across a myriad of topics. This rapid change is not only a source of worry but also of opportunity. There are clear, identifiable opportunities for Cambodia to increase its soft power through environmental diplomacy – specifically in relation to reforestation and sustainable logging.

    by Chan Sam Art

Chapter 6 - Foreign Aid

  • Foreign Aid and Development Assistance

    The article is part of the book series Cambodia 2040, which is published by Future Forum and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Cambodia. Enjoy the read!

    In 2040, this has led to many positive outcomes. Private capital investments have dramatically increased with the reduction of crowding-out effects and the political uncertainty caused by outsized Chinese influence.

    by Brevin Anderson, Him Raksmey

Chapter 7 - Monetary Policy and Rielization

  • Monetary Policy and Rielization

    The article is part of the book series Cambodia 2040, which is published by Future Forum and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Cambodia. Enjoy the read!

    Cambodians finally shifted to the Riel in droves after the government announced that they would transition the National Bank of Cambodia into an orthodox currency board arrangement (CBA) with the anchor currency as the U.S. Dollar; forgoing the pretence of an independent Central Bank.

    by Rasheed Griffith, Lor Samnang

Chapter 8 - Rule of Law

  • Rule of Law

    The article is part of the book series Cambodia 2040, which is published by Future Forum and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Cambodia. Enjoy the read!

    When we talk about governance, we usually mean good governance, which results in good, though not perfect, outcomes. Human flourishing is much more likely when the rules are fair and fairly applied to all, which is a good definition of the rule of law. That definition leaves us with many questions, but it also provides a useful metric for examining the state of governance in a place like Cambodia, which has transformed itself into one where, in 2040, governance is fair, transparent, evenly applied and efficient.

    by Thomas Pearson, Chanty Pisal

Chapter 9 - Public Administration: Digitalization and Talent

  • Public Administration: Digitalization and Talent

    The article is part of the book series Cambodia 2040, which is published by Future Forum and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Cambodia. Enjoy the read!

    In 2040, the public sector requirements of the Cambodian citizenry continue to be shaped by enhanced economic performance, globalization, and domestic advancements in digital information and technology systems.

    by Yann Aoudourm

Chapter 10 - Civil Service: Function and Structure

  • Civil Service: Function and Structure

    The article is part of the book series Cambodia 2040, which is published by Future Forum and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Cambodia. Enjoy the read!

    In 2040, the Cambodian civil service system was digitalized, operating within the framework of e-government. There is comprehensive data storage and updates on the civil service, while human resource planning and tracking is well organized. The Ministry of Civil Service acts as a data center fully managing and coordinating the flow, status, capacity building, and performance of public officials. Accurate civil service cross-checking and data exchanges are carried out by a low-cost and time-saving automated system at both the national and sub-national levels.

    by Min Seiha

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