Cambodians bought more American cars in 2014

  • Cambodian is at the top Asian buyers of American cars in 2014.
  • There are more than 2 million cars in Cambodia, besides 2 million motorcycles.
  • Toyota and Luxus are the most popular cars in a country where children attend very poor schools that could be well set with 50 thousand US dollars, the price of many car models in Phnom Penh.  

Cambodians bought 69% more cars from US in 2014 than in 2013 for a total of 4,978, according to a report by West Coast Shipping, becoming one of the Asian top buyers of American vehicles after China, while overcoming Hong Kong, India, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. It seems that being one of the poorest Asian countries do not stop certain Cambodians to get the best vehicles for their own transport. The report says about Cambodia:

A growing gray market for new and luxury cars has driven up the volume of car imports to Cambodia. They face a similar situation as China, which turned out to be beneficial for the Chinese citizens and car importers. But we are still awaiting a decision by the Cambodian government to tell us if they will continue accepting gray imports or if they will begin to protect automaker authorized dealers and limit the ability for an average dealer and citizen to import new cars (West Coast Shipping, 2015).

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Cambodia among the top Asian buyers of American cars in 2014 just after a biggest market such as China and overcoming more developed nations as Hong Kong, India, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. Graphic by West Coast Shipping.

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Internet Providers without Customer Service

  • The Cambodian Internet Providers lack a real sense for Customer Service.
  • You could be disconnected for days and your calls for an urgent attention is unheard. They are always “busy” and the company would send somebody when it wants, not when you need. 

Although the technological development of Internet in Cambodia, the business still dominated by incompetence and lack of customer service. You can change your Internet Provider as many times as you want, but at the end you will feel the same disappointment when something goes wrong and you have to call to the “Customer Service” to listen the same words: “Yes, sir, we are going to attend you” but you don’t know when; “we are now too much busy, sorry, sir” even if you have an Internet Cafe and your own customers will go away.

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The Metfone Complain page has links to “Services”, “Support”and a form to write a complain as we did. By clicking “Send”, the page got stucked. Filling the complain form leads to nothing in this Cambodian Internet Provider, as most of others do in the country.

Do you recommend a Cambodian Internet Provider? Let your experience be known to others, to choose the best one and to crush mediocre companies with a lack of sense for customer service. Let your comment in this page or rate the companies in our poll.

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Christmas in Cambodia

  • There are about 20,000 Roman Catholic Christians in modern Cambodia representing the 0.15% of the total population that is mostly Buddhist. 
  • Although Protestant churches state that they made the 2% of the Cambodian population with about 1,000 worship places in the country, their number is not official and they could be less than 10,000. 
  • The second largest religious group of Cambodia is Muslims represented in the Cham minority that could be much largest than all Christians combined. 

Cambodia is one of those few countries with a State Official Religion according to its Political Constitution: Theravada Buddhism:

“Cambodian Citizens of both sexes shall have the right to belief. The freedom of religious belief and practices shall be guaranteed by the State on condition that they do not affect other beliefs, orders and public security. Buddhism is the State religion.” (Art. 43)

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A group of Catholic youth in Kep Province celebrating the start of Advent Season on December 8, 2014.

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Cambodia one point less corrupt

  • Cambodia improved ONE POINT in its corruption level, according to Transparency International.
  • It has the same rank of Myanmar, both 156th position in 177 countries.
  • Thailand scored 38 – the level goes from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean.)

Cambodia improved one point in its transparency perception this year with 21, sharing the 156th position with its neighbour Myanmar. The measurement goes from 0 being the most corrupt and 100 as the most transparent, a system created by Transparency International.

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Comparing Cambodia with its neighbors – Data by Transparency International. 

In 2010 the Cambodian government passed the Anti-Corruption Law and created the Anti-Corruption Unit to prosecute cases such as bribery, extortion and fraud, while organizing educational events to promote transparency. In October 2013 the government ordered the creation of a proper taxation of imports by custom officials to prevent corruption at the customs.

The Westernizers

The concept of Westernization is not so simple like to say “it refers to the conversion to or adoption of Western traditions and customs.” There are many perspectives of what is the West as a cultural archetype in which the main one is to assume social, economic and political ideas of typically associated wealthy countries like North America and Western Europe. In Europe, Westernization is mostly to follow the European models of society and it has been like this since the 15th century and the beginning of a colonial era that was to be for five centuries. At the original base of what defines the West, we find the Greek and Roman civilizations, their philosophy and their ways of thinking. Then the contribution of the Judeo-Christian religions would settle the profile of what was to be the West culture. The Discovery of the Americas, the French and Industrial revolutions and the European colonialism would close down the concept. Continue reading

I see Germany

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Greetings from Munich, the heart of Europe and the capital of Bavaria in Germany. It is already one weeks since I left Cambodia to visit donors of our educational projects and Germany has challenged many of my preconceptions about itself. The first thing I found is its greenness. Yes, I thought I was going to find a cement jungle, but it is a green country of woods and even maiz – although, unlikely in South America it is used for gas production. Germany is shutting down its nuclear plants and moving into natural power. I am admired to see solar panels and wind mils everywhere. A great model for a country like Cambodia. Instead of creating dams to alter the ecosystems, the proliferation of solar and wind energy would be a great solution.  Continue reading

No Ebola cases in Cambodia

Lyle's flying fox

The cute Cambodian Lyle’s flying fox, a species in danger that needs protection. 

Although there are no reports of Ebola cases in Cambodia, the Ministry of Health warms people to be careful, especially if traveling to West African countries. As there is not a regular connectivity between South East Asia and the main affected countries like Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, the Ministry considered that Cambodia is mostly out of danger, but monitoring the situation together with the World Health Organization. Nigerian citizens going or coming to their country from Cambodia are warned to keep precautions such avoiding blood, secretions and other body fluids from infected living or dead persons or animals. Continue reading