Public Lecture on “The Political and Economic Situation in Cambodia”

Public Lecture on “The Political and Economic Situation in Cambodia”

On January 6, 2012, the University of Cambodia (UC) hosted a lecture for visiting South Korean students from Inha University on the Political and Economic Situation in Cambodia by H.E. Dr. Sok Siphana at the Conference Center. There were also many UC students in attendance.


During his presentation, Dr. Sok addressed the political and economic history of Cambodia, covering a broad range of issues from the perspective of a practicing attorney and adviser to the Royal Government of Cambodia. He explained how today’s political and economic landscape is essentially structured around and in response to years of civil war, the Cambodian genocide, and a 17-year economic embargo. Dr. Sok presented information regarding the construction of Cambodia’s legal system and business environment, and explained how far Cambodia has come since the 1993 Paris Peace Accords. Lastly, Dr. Sok took some excellent questions from students regarding the legal, economic and political system in Cambodia.


Khov Ea Hai, a UC student majoring in International Relations, noted that the speaker was very prominent, and he has learned a lot from his presentation: for example, about the different types of legal models in Cambodia established under different regimes, and about the economic integration of Cambodia into regional and global markets. Ea Hai said he will keep thinking about what Dr. Sok said during the lecture, “What you see is not what you really get, and what you get is not what you really see.”


Dr. Sok was a Secretary of State for the Ministry of Commerce of Royal Government of Cambodia from 1999 to 2005. In that capacity, he played a pivotal role in negotiating successfully Cambodia’s accession to the World Trade Organization, the international organization that deals with the rules of trade between nations. From 2005 to 2009, he served as the Director for the Division of Technical Cooperation Coordination of the International Trade Center inGeneva, Switzerland. Upon his return to Cambodia in 2009, he was appointed to serve as an Adviser to the Royal Government of Cambodia; he is also a practicing attorney and Principal at Sok Siphana & Associates, as well as being Chair of the Board of Directors for the Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI) and a Member of the Advisory Board of the Asia Economic Forum.

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