Country Listing

Cambodia Table of Contents



Postal, telegraph, and telegram services under the Ministry of Communications, Transport, and Posts were restored throughout most of the country in the early 1980s. Radio communications were frequent; the Voice of the Kampuchean People broadcasted ten hours daily from Phnom Penh in the late 1980s. An estimated 171,000 radio sets existed in the country in 1984 (the last year for which data were available). Cambodia's only television station began broadcasting, with Vietnamese assistance, in December 1984. Color transmissions began in July 1986.

In January 1987, the Soviet-aided Intersputnik space communications station began operation in Phnom Penh and established two-way telecommunication links between the Cambodian capital and the cities of Moscow, Hanoi, Vientiane, and Paris. The completion of the earth satellite station (built on the grounds of Phnom Penh's old Roman Catholic cathedral), restored the telephone and telex links among Phnom Penh, Hanoi, and other socialist countries for the first time since 1975. Although telecommunications services were limited to the government, these advances in communications helped break down the country's isolation, both internally and internationally.

                     *     *     *

The major publications on statistical data and key indicators of Cambodia's economy are the UN Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific, the FAO Production Yearbook, the ADB Key Indicators, the EIU Quarterly Economic Review of Indochina, the Far East and Australasia, and the Asian Economic Handbook.

First-hand observations and field reports from Cambodia are found in various issues of the Far Eastern Economic Review and Keesing's Records of World Events. Cambodian official statements, news, and radio broadcasts are monitored and translated into English in the Foreign Broadcast Information Service's Daily Report: East Asia and the Joint Publications Research Service's Southeast Asia Report, two important sources of information.

Scholarly studies and analytical essays on the Cambodian economy are scarce. Among the most useful is Khieu Samphan's doctoral dissertation, Cambodia's Economy and Industrial Development, a helpful guide to understanding the Pol Pot regime's economic policy and thinking. Ben Kiernan's "Kampuchea 1979-81: National Rehabilitation in the Eye of an International Storm" and Michael Vickery's Kampuchea offer good analyses of the economic system and its problems, particularly in agriculture and in industry. Two studies on the serious food problem in Cambodia are The Quality of Mercy by William Shawcross, who focused his study on the Emergency Food Aid Program to Cambodia during the critical 1979-83 period, and D. Mosyakov's "Solving the Food Problem in Kampuchea." (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)

Data as of December 1987