Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 04/2011

Cambodia's Bumpy Development Road: Implications for US Interests

Donald Jameson

March 2011

East-West Center


When US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Cambodia in late 2010, she told senior Cambodian government officials "this does not look like the country I have been reading about in the press." Most first-time visitors to Phnom Penh would likely react similarly. The city hosts a vibrant society, with traffic-clogged streets, a proliferation of stylish restaurants and boutiques, and buildings under construction everywhere, many of them high-rise apartments and office blocks. If the visitor were to venture outside the capital, large-scale investment in infrastructure, especially roads and bridges, with construction underway on additional projects are what greet the eye. Donald Jameson discusses Cambodia's current economic development and the implications this has for US interests in the region.