Economy, Mining and Manufacturing
Khmer Rouge, Gulf of Thailand, sapphires, rubies, civil war
In 2000 industry, primarily manufacturing, contributed 20 percent of Cambodia’s GDP. Although mining is not a major industry, Cambodia produces limited quantities of zircons, sapphires, and rubies, and exploits commercial deposits of salt, manganese, and phosphate. In the early 1990s Cambodia began exploring for petroleum in the Gulf of Thailand, but Thailand and Vietnam, who claim offshore areas of the gulf, have contested the exploration projects.
Cambodia’s manufacturing base was severely damaged in the civil war of the 1970s and was later mismanaged under the Khmer Rouge. Manufacturing activity recovered slowly in the 1980s and 1990s but still represents a relatively minor sector of the national economy. Manufactured products include bricks, tile, cement, processed rubber, textiles, clothing, and furniture.
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