Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Faint hope for success of CLMV

Faint hope for success of CLMV

Faint hope for success of CLMV

The opening of Cambodia to the world market as a new member of the World Trade Organization

gives this poor country some hope, if not much, to improve its economy. However,

I am a bit concerned over the newly announced ASEAN regional economic bloc (CLMV)

that comprises Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Regardless of the real political motive behind this economic bloc, I wonder how it

will benefit Cambodia, as it reminds me of a Khmer tale about two poor men who were

engaged in business cooperation.

One poor man, as the tale is told, made his living by selling palm wine and another

sold fried fresh-water shrimps on skewers as his livelihood.

One day the two bumped into each other at a corner of the city. The shrimp vender

wanted to taste palm wine, but he had only 200 riel in his pocket.

The wine seller came up with an idea: "Why don't you pay me the 200 riel and

have some wine and I will buy your shrimps in return with that money?" he said.

"That's a great idea! Why can't I think of such a simple trade deal?" replied

the shrimp vendor.

He gave the 200 riel to the palm-wine seller and emptied a glass and chewed his fried

shrimps.

Then the wine seller returned the money to his new trade partner and had a skewer

of fried shrimps with his wine.

The first glass of wine was a promising business transaction for the shrimp vendor.

"Hey, I still have plenty of shrimps to sell but this guy does not have any

money," he thought. "So, I must buy another glass of wine from him and

encourage him to buy more shrimps from me."

He then paid the 200 riel back to the wine seller and had another drink. Just as

the shrimp vendor thought, this only provoked the wine seller to do the same, buying

another skewer of fried shrimps with the money he'd just earned.

The two were actively engaged in seemingly lucrative business cooperation until they

had finished selling all the wine and all the fried shrimps late in the afternoon.

Unfortunately, the wine seller returned home empty-handed with no food or money for

the family. The shrimp vendor also came back home with only a pair of shorts left,

because he had even lost his 200 riel when he was drunk.

Now, I am also worried that the prospect of the economic cooperation between Cambodia,

Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, all poor countries in the region, will be like the tale

of the palm wine seller and the fried shrimp vendor.

Moeun Chhean Nariddh - Phnom Penh

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,