Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Globalization in Cambodia, Cured or Cursed?

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
There is unquestionable that globalization has brought amazing economic growth and increasing standard living of the people.  Since the Paris Peace Accord 1991, Cambodia has changed its face from  a war-torn country to the fast growing economic country in the region; some foreign economists named Cambodia as a tiger cub of the economic tigers in Asia--China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore--when Cambodia's GDP grows average 7-9 percent annually.  Such a high growth strongly supported by tourism and exports of textile and farm products.  The textile industry, mostly owned by foreign investors, have employed over half a million workers, and the tourism industry has created hundred thousands of jobs and attracted millions of foreign tourists every year.  Along with the textile and tourism, agriculture products--a traditional backbone of the country economy--has become a leading export products after the textile.  Farmer can increase their incomes when their rice and other farmed products are highly demanded by export markets, and also farmers feel wealthier when their land value are multiple increased over the past twenty years.

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
Nevertheless, along with prosperity, globalization also brings miserable condition to numerous unfortunate people from the rural areas as well as the cities: destroying traditional livelihood of people and environments, creating migration and displacement of people, driving up the cost of living, and widening a gap between the rich and the poor even larger.  The old European proverb says, "If you create property, then you create the poor." Exactly, in Utopian society or in Pol Pot's regime even we lived in miserable condition without enough food to eat or clothes to wrap up our body, but we still did not consider ourselves as the poor, since there was no rich people around us and in the whole country.  Now we live in a capitalist society where wealth is being used to classify the people in the society, so if people don't possess wealth, they are poor even they have enough food to eat and clothes to wear, and shelter to live.  How can we classify the people who live without these basic needs--food, clothes, and shelters?

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
In conclusion, globalization has brought both positive and negative effects on Cambodian economy, and the people are more likely to get most benefit from it if the government has more transparent and sustainable economic policy.  Corruption and mismanagement are the great obstacles in reaping most benefit from globalization.  In the industrialized nations, their governments try to bring economic justice for the people by narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor through progressive taxation.  The rich and high income person must pay higher tax rate while the poorest person pays no tax.  In such process, the government will use the tax surplus to improve health care, education, welfare, and many other social programs that benefit the poor.  In Cambodia, there is no brake to stop the rich and accelerator to push the poor up; as result, the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer.  At the end, globalization just brings economic injustice to the country not a true economic prosperity.


Anonymous said...

It is interesting article. Thanks for sharing this.

bon tong said...

The Recalling of Honda and Nissan

According to prominent Car for Sale Cambodia MG Cambodia claimed, there are number of cars recall by Japanese carmakers.
The basic problem with this situation is happen by airbag inflator. As we known that this part was supplied by Takata Corp.
Although there have no report of any accidence, but this is the obligation of the companies to ensure the driver safe.
As a result, company decided to recall those cars. Now Honda is recalling 2 million and Nissan 755,000 cars in global.

hongleng said...

Supplier Robert Lee turns pro

Provided by notable furniture in Cambodia construction materials, bathroom brand Ideal Standard and Armitage Shanks have announced their approval of distributor, Robert Lee, as an official brassware specialist which kicked off the supplier’s a professional career with top brands.
“This is a fantastic achievement for Robert Lee. We are really proud to have been appointed as a brassware specialist by such a well-regarded name in the industry” stated Matt Earle, director of the supplier.
“Both parties have made an on-going commitment that will essentially result in an improved customer service” added by GSM of Ideal Standard, Gary Matthews.

SenBlue said...

The Artistic Small House

This lovely small house is only 95sqm with nicely color and artistic decors, according to furniture shop in Phnom Penh construction materials stated.
One more thing this house features an open plan structure with three rooms, and from the entrance hallway, one is directed lead to the kitchen and living area that are a part of connection with an overall breezy feel, the social zone.
In addition, there is the purple carpet is the element that stands out the most, and together with the storage box “wrapped” in the coffee table legs.
Moreover, there is also the functional kitchen with white color palette, wood visually spicing up the working areas. The designers made this house become an inspiration and amazing.

Chhunmeng KabKab said...

Distinctively contemporary by Allison Jessup and John King

According to reliable furniture shop in Phnom Penh construction materials information, the featured kitchen, designed by architects Allison Jessup and John King, is an interpretation of a contemporary and unique design with the standout piece – The extended outdoor island.
"The island extends outdoors from the kitchen to become a barbecue workbench, which is cantilevered over the terrace. In this way, the indoor and outdoor living spaces are integrated" said King.
"The island forms a literal transition between the spaces, so they combine and both become richer and more efficient to use. Pivoting and folding doors and a sliding window above the bench mean people can move effortlessly from inside to outside."

Chhunmeng CoolBoy said...

Google’s Android One Launched on Monday, with Pricing around $105

(digital marketing agency, restartbox.com)- Google on Monday launched its much anticipated smartphone, the Android One, which is priced at around $105 in order to dominate the low-cost emerging smartphone market.
Understandably though, the world’s No 1 search engine chose to team up with Indian mobile makers Micromax, Karbonn and Spice Mobiles in their launch of the affordable phones, which are powered by its operating system.
Following this launch in India, Google confirmed it would expand Android One to Indonesia, Philippines and other South Asian countries by the end of 2014 and in more countries in 2015.

bon tong said...

Apple to Partner with Nike for a Future Wearable Device

(digital marketing agency) – Enthusiastic fans of Apple’s smart watch can look forward to the next generation of the firm’s wearable gadget. However, this time, with the collaboration of an American multinational corporation in garment design and manufacturing, Nike.
Nike CEO Mark Parker gave cue about the upcoming plan of the collaboration as he stated: “So yeah, that’s part of our plan, is to expand the whole digital frontier in terms of wearables, and go from what we say is tens of millions of users – right now there’s 25 million Nike+ users – but to hundreds of millions,”
Parker continued that the pre-production device will have a more integrated system in the existing gadgets and come with a better physical design.