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Country Reports

Cambodia Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

The dissolution of the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in November 2017 removed the only major electoral challenge to Prime Minister Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and turned the country into a de facto one-party system. Hun Sen's consolidation of power undergirds policy continuity, which will prominently feature shifting trade and investment ties towards China and away from Europe and the United States. The economy has benefitted from high levels of Chinese investment, and IHS Markit expects the economy to grow by 6.9% in 2019, with more than 60% of merchandise exports (mostly garments) to the European Union and the United States. There is material risk, however, that Cambodia will be removed from the EU's "Everything but Arms" (EBA) preferential trade scheme that permits duty- and quota-free exports of all products except arms and armaments. The European Union is expected to make its decision by February 2020. The garment sector also faces periodic, week-long strikes around annual wage settlements. These strikes are usually non-violent and rarely cause major business disruption. However, the government often concedes to above-inflation wage increases that employers must fund.Cambodia's robust construction activity and solid growth in the service sector will play important roles in driving near-term growth. Rapid credit growth will keep domestic demand vigorous and sustain a fast-paced expansion in real estate in the upcoming years by generating business opportunities in building materials and household goods. After fiscal expansion over 2017 and 2018, Cambodia's 2019 budget is geared towards consolidation. A rising wage bill and the need to boost public investment are likely to increase pressure on expenditures. The government is currently targeting a budget deficit of 4.5% of GDP.
Last update: November 27, 2019

Operational Outlook

Industrial unrest over wages, including in the economically important garment and footwear sectors, creates business disruption risks particularly during annual minimum wage negotiations period. Although business in Cambodia involves relatively less red tape than in other countries in the region, the bureaucracy can be cumbersome and inefficient to deal with. Corruption risk is an ongoing issue in all levels fostered by officials' low pay. However, government policy on foreign investment is welcoming with 100% foreign ownership allowed in most sectors. This welcoming attitude is widely accepted within Cambodia. Foreign investors also benefit from the availability of a young and low-cost workforce.

Last update: September 12, 2019

Crime

Robbery is the most significant criminal issue in urban areas, particularly in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. This includes armed robbery as it remains relatively easy to obtain small-arms. There are also occasional grenade and small-scale bomb attacks mostly found to be related to local business disputes. Foreigners have generally not been targets of such attacks. Organised crime is a problem, with Cambodia serving as a transit point for illegal arms, narcotics, and human trafficking. Cambodia has been identified as a country of primary concern for money laundering by foreign authorities such as the US Department of State and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global watchdog.

Last update: August 28, 2019

Health Risk

Severe

Vaccines Required to Enter the Country

Yellow fever: There is no risk of contracting yellow fever in Cambodia. However, the government requires proof of vaccination for travelers arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission. A single dose of YF vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained life-long immunity against the disease.

Vaccines Recommended for All Travelers

Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).

Vaccines Recommended for Most Travelers

Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.

Typhoid fever: The typhoid fever vaccine can be administered via injection (administered in one dose) or orally (four doses). The vaccine is only 50-80 percent effective, so travelers to areas with a risk of exposure to typhoid fever, a bacterial disease, should also take hygienic precautions (e.g. drink only bottled water, avoid undercooked foods, wash hands regularly, etc.). Children can be given the shot beginning at two years of age (six for the oral vaccine).

Vaccines Recommended for Some Travelers

Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.

Japanese encephalitis: Japanese encephalitis is typically only present in rural areas. Discuss travel plans with your doctor to decide if you need the JE vaccine, which is administered in two doses spaced over a month. The last dose should be administered at least ten days prior to departure for an at-risk area to be fully effective.

Malaria: There is currently no malaria vaccine. However, various antimalarial prophylactics are available by prescription and can reduce risk of infection by up to 90 percent. Different medications are prescribed depending on the risk level and the strains of the virus present in the destination. Antimalarial tablets need to be taken throughout the trip to be effective and may need to be taken for as long as four weeks following the trip.

Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks

Very high

Cambodia is regularly hit by natural disasters; Cyclone Ketsana in 2009 killed a dozen individuals in the north. From 2005 to 2010, more than 800,000 people have been affected by natural disasters, including droughts, flooding, cyclones, etc.

Finally, during the rainy season (June to October), floods are common in the northeastern and southeastern regions of the country.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Transportation

Moderate

In April 2016, the railway connecting the capital Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville was reopened to passengers after a 15-year interruption of service.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

Cambodia has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons. The dry season begins in November and ends in March; during this time, temperatures usually remain above 30°C and days are sunny. The monsoon affects the country from May until October, bringing with it high temperatures (35°C), high levels of humidity, and violent but brief showers. Floods are common.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +855
Police: 117 or 118

Electricity

Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019