The World Bank's Bad Business in Cambodia
Seventy Six Percent of all Arable Land Already Leased
Since Cambodia was first ranked 145th in the World Bank’s Doing Business (DB) ratings in 2008, it has only inched up slightly, moving to 137th in 2014. This deceptively low score belies the country’s deep deregulation in the hopes of attracting foreign investment. In 2014, the World Bank recognized Cambodia for being the South East Asian country most open to foreign direct investment (FDI), as well as the second largest recipient of FDI in agriculture in the region.
Eighty percent of Cambodia’s population lives in rural areas and seventy percent of the labor force is engaged in agriculture. Despite its strong economic growth since the mid-1990s, Cambodia is still a low-income, food-deficit country with a third of its rural population living below the poverty line.