|It's been a very enriching experience to listen to the reactions of these 1200 or so college students.|
Most interesting was the focus of their questions. Although the report is focused on medium- and long-term trends, many questions were about the impact of the global economic crisis. My answer: Cambodia is very exposed to the crisis given its openness and reliance on foreign investment, and despite the strong resilience of its rural economy.
There were also many questions about extractive industries. The answer is in Chapter 5 of the report: there remain considerable uncertainties about the potential in oil and gas and in mining, with in fact practically no major proven commercially viable reserve so far.
In all sessions, there were a few students wondering how Cambodia could develop with the significant governance challenges that these students are familiar with. One answer: the past decade of growth in Cambodia has shown that Cambodia has a strong potential, but governance is the key development challenge that in particular limits the options for the diversification of the economy. Students were also interested in knowing which products would grow in the future – and by extension which topics they should study. I told them I don't know. But our analysis (see Chapter 4 of the report) gives some hints about Cambodia's comparative advantage.
|Students were also interested in knowing which products would grow in the future – and by extension which topics they should study.|