Cambodia is a complicated country. The problem of corruption remains rife, with the country scoring 20 on the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). That’s 6 points above the notoriously corrupt North Korea. The government’s notoriety was cemented recently when Prime Minister Hun Sen extended his 33-year rule – winning 125 seats in the last election after the opposing party conveniently dissolved.
Still, the economy grew at an estimated rate of 7.1% in 2018, driven primarily by an expansion in both domestic consumption and exports. But this growth belies the fact that many of the country’s citizens are mired in debt, with household debt reaching $4.2 billion in February this year. This represents 15.9% of the country’s GDP, compared with 12.3% the previous year.