General description

Geographical location:
Located in the south-east Asian continent, between 10° and 15° north, Cambodia is frontier with Thailand in the west and north, Laos in the north-east and Vietnam in the east and south-east. It has a south-west maritime frontage of 340 km, on the gulf of Thailand.

Geographical features:
The country is a fertile plain constituted with the alluvia laid there during centuries by the Mekong River which crosses it along more than 300 km. It surrounds the Tonlé Sap Large Lake (150 km length by 30 to 50 km width between the dry and the rainyseason). Small mountains border the plain in south-west (Cardamoms), north (Dangrek) and east (Vietnamese Cordillera)

Surface:
181.000 km ², approximately a third of France

Capital:
Phnom Penh is also an important river harbor at the confluence of Mekong and Tonlé Sap Rivers, and counts 1,2 million inhabitants.

Principal cities:
Sea harbor: Kampong Sum (Sihanoukville)
River harbors: Kampong Chnang on Tonlé Sap River, Kampong Cham and Kratié on Mekong River
Battambang, as the economic capital of the west
Siem-Reap (Angkor), touristic capital of the north-west

Current population:
14 millions inhabitants including Khmer (90%) and 10% of Chinese, Vietnamese and Chams (of Islamic religion)

Life expectancy:
61years (40% of the population have less than 15 years)

Official religion:
Theravada Buddhism (or Small Vehicle)

Political system:
Constitutional monarchy

Languages:
Khmer and English. (French is only spoken by the educated old peoples). The official western language of the Administration is English.

Official currency:
The “Riel”. The US Dollar is the usual complementary currency.

Economic activities:
The inner gross product, which grows approximately 6% per annum, is still lower than 300 US dollars per annum and per capita and 80% of the population is rural. The culture of rice and the fishery product are intended for national consumption. The strongest growths are for the textile and tourism sectors. The textile industry, which counts 200.000 employments, provided food to 800.000 people, including families and related activities.
The tourism grows at the rate of 30% per annum and 2 millions visitors came to Cambodia in 2007.

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