|Slum Areas on Mekong River|
Globalization is a process of international integration arising from the interchanging of economic and cultural activities. The term originates from the European age of discovery, but it has rarely used until mid-1990 when this term has been heavily used by the IMF and many academics, and it became a study course of the International Relation Major. Since the end of Cold War 1991 causing by a collapse of the Communist Bloc in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, globalization has sped up in a remarkable pace. Separately, globalization has spread into Cambodia in full scale since the UN-organized election 1993. As Cambodia abandoned the Communist central planned economy and embraced a free market economy, eventually, the country has opened its door to the world in the first time since 1975. Through globalization, Cambodia has thrived with fast economic growth and modernization: it brings more jobs, increases incomes and standard of living, improves health care and education, and finally brings in technologies and new ideas to the people who have deprived for decades of war and economic embargo from the West. However, based on a real condition in the country, dose globalization help or hurt the people in Cambodia?
|Sovanna Six-Story Shopping Mall, Phnom Phenh|
Globalization not only bring jobs and export markets for the country but also new technologies and ideas for the people. Today most schools, universities, government institutions, and private companies are equipped with high tech-communications--computers, Internet services, and telephones--up to date as most developed countries in the world. English has been widely used by most educated people and students, and it has become an instructional language in many schools and universities in the country. Hotels, resorts, casino, real estate developments, banks, businesses and shopping centers have sprung up all over the cities. As business activities have grown, they drive up the land and property value that make some people become millionaires over night. Many kinds of product are imported from many countries around the world: from automobiles, computers, cell phones, and many different luxury goods that are strongly demanded by wealthy people and newly emerged middle-class. We have seen many fast food restaurants, and other different Western franchises that never had been in the country before.
|Upper-Class Neighborhood, Phnom Penh|
Now we look back to negative effect of globalization: Since it spread into the country in 1991, many peasants lost their lands, and they moved to the cities to search for jobs, especially young people even migrated to foreign countries to find job such as Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, and so on. And when people have crowded in the cities, they have faced many problems from shelters, sanitation, traffics, and the high cost of living that made them even more miserable. Phnom Penh now has population nearly 3 millions, among the crowded city in the region. Also, the government's economic mismanagement has created the gap between the rich and the poor wider when the rich have more advantage than the poor in making their livings. This is the true negative effect of globalization; however, many countries in the world are able to take advantage from globalization to develop and modernize their economy with minimum negative effect when they have wiser and transparent policy. Free trade, cheap labor cost, and high demand for products have made the rich countries more beneficial from globalization than the poor countries like Cambodia.
|Itinerant Homeless Families live on the street, Phnom Penh|