Hanoi, Vietnam -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/26/2013 -- Cambodia is the unexpected rising star for small business investment in the region of Southeast Asia. Devastated by one of the most deadly conflicts in human history in the 1970s, Cambodia has fought back. Two million of its population lost their lives in the war, coming in a country of only 8 million at the time, that is a huge percentage and one from which it may never have recovered. But recover it has and thrived. The resilience of these people is astonishing.
Since joining the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 1999 it has experienced a growth in domestic product of around 7% annually. Next years prediction is again for 7% growth. This economic boom has seen huge changes in the country. Investors now see Cambodia as the most likely country for profit in the whole region. Businesses are growing, profits are soaring and everybody is happy.
The lack of restrictive legislation for foreign investors is key to this growth. Other countries like Thailand and Vietnam are tied up in red tape, where foreign investors often lose patience or faith and simply give up.
Cassava and pepper growing are two areas of huge investment and growth. Long seen as the finest pepper in the world, Kampot pepper is now grown on an enormous scale. It always was considered de rigueur in the best French restaurants but the war devastated the industry. As fast as land is turned over to this crop, the supply exceeds it. Crop yields increased from 23 to 27 tonnes during 2012 alone, and still it was not enough to satisfy the insatiable appetite for this king of spices. Pepper farming land, increased by 20 hectares during this period.
Cassava or to give it its more common Western name, tapioca has long been a staple in the country. It is a hardy crop that can thrive in drought conditions and poor soil areas. Worldwide it is a staple food item for more than five hundred million people. Whilst it thrives in dry conditions it does also, in extremely wet ones. This of course is ideal for the huge differences between wet and dry seasons in Cambodia.
Asia Tour Advisor CEO, Mr. Tran Truong said recently, “ The huge increase in pepper growing in the Kampot area has seen an enormous benefit to the local people. The plantations are popular with tourists in the area, which means the financial benefits are two fold.”
The large investors now looking at Cambodia in increasing numbers, the future looks bright for what was once the poor relation in Indochina.
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