订阅

多平台阅读

微信订阅

杂志

申请纸刊赠阅

订阅每日电邮

移动应用

商业

柬埔寨:在腐败泥潭中寻找腾飞希望

Amy Kaslow 2013年08月06日

柬埔寨号称区域枢纽,同时又拥有低廉的劳动力,充足的土地供应以及丰富的自然资源,同时也拥有发展经济的强烈意愿。然而,这个地区同时又面临着基础设施薄弱,腐败盛行,疾病蔓延,贫穷落后的现状,给吸引国际投资,发展本国经济带来了重大挑战。

    柬埔寨前往全球各大金融中心和市场的招商引资人员总是鼓吹这个东南亚国家的经济欣欣向荣,属于地区枢纽,同时又向全球企业敞开大门。劳动力成本低廉,土地供应充足,还有丰富的自然资源等待开采。

    但同样是这个国家,在全球腐败和侵犯人权排行榜上均名列第十,而且有着沉重的大屠杀历史。

    面对柬埔寨选民抗议上周的大选结果(这是柬埔寨历史上操控和腐败程度最为严重的一次选举),柬埔寨领导人们再也无法回避各种丑闻、经济困境和系统性腐败问题。需要解决的问题包括:柬埔寨内资和外资工厂中低技能工人恶劣的工作和住宿条件;暴力“征地”驱逐,肆意将柬埔寨土地转让给国内外投资者;迟迟未对前红色高棉领导人采取法律制裁。20世纪70年代的共产主义革命中,约200万柬埔寨人被奴役、挨饿和屠杀。

    那些关注柬埔寨市场的人们是不是只需要把这些现实视作在新兴市场经商的成本就可以了?

    很多美国企业都打算进入这个市场,雪佛龙(Chevron)、福特(Ford)和通用电气(General Electric)早已到来。但目前即使是最积极主张进入这一市场的人们,对于当前是不是时候,也语焉不详。以康菲公司(ConocoPhillips)为首的蓝筹公司联盟——美国-东盟工商理事会(US-ASEAN Business Council)最近发布了一份公报,向会员们通报了柬埔寨的商业机会近况以及一些令人不安的报道。比如,大批抗议者们要求实施自由公平的选举,工厂安全措施不到位造成工伤惨剧,以及监管改革受阻等等。

    对于可能进入柬埔寨的美国公司而言,是否进入柬埔寨的考量必须超越常规的风险评估。美国已经有很长一段时间没有介入这个国家了。从1969年至1972年,深陷越战泥潭的华盛顿决策者们决定扩大打击目标。美国B-52战机在柬埔寨扔下了54万吨炸弹;平民死亡人数预计为15- 50万。这个决定备受争议,令人深感遗憾,时至今日仍然是一个不可触碰的痛。

    目前,美国在柬埔寨的活动主要是依托于援助,投资技术援助或“体制建设”。2012年,华盛顿为柬埔寨卫生、治理、教育和经济发展项目提供了1.213亿美元的双边援助。

    有些人呼吁美国要增强在柬埔寨的参与度。美国战略与国际研究中心(Center for Strategic and International Studies)东南亚研究主任欧内斯特•鲍尔表示,鉴于柬埔寨正在与地区内的民主改革趋势背道而驰,当前美国的影响非常重要。他说,这个地区即将迎来“东盟之春”,独裁统治早已让位于“新兴的对于民权、治理和法制的期待”。柬埔寨是个例外,他说,柬埔寨陷于“政治动荡之中,应该引起邻国和东盟盟国,包括美国的担忧”。

国家领导层令人失望,贫穷盛行

    作为曾经的“铁腕”领导人、红色高棉政权的早期活跃成员,柬埔寨首相洪森如今已被边缘化,没了声音,遭到近30年统治期间反对人士的驱逐。国际观察人士经常谴责柬埔寨选举的不公平;今年英国观察人士拒绝返回,称柬埔寨政府在上次折中的选举后尚未实施他们的建议。

    洪森势力强大的副首相索安表示,特别法庭“展现了柬埔寨矢志于法治的决心”以及全新的司法途径。但是,柬埔寨的司法体系自己也承认,勒索、贿赂和政治游说无所不在。

    Cambodia's promoters fanning out to money centers and markets worldwide pitch the Southeast Asian nation's economy as practically booming, a regional pivot point, and wide open for global business. Labor is cheap, land available, and natural resources ready for exploitation.

    But the same country courting corporations ranks tenth as the most corrupt country on earth and scores just as high among human rights abusers, adding to the deep scars of its brutal past.

    With Cambodian voters protesting this week's national election results -- the most controlled and corroded in the country's history -- the nation's leaders cannot evade the rampant scandals, economic hardship, and systemic corruption the campaign thrust into the spotlight. It's a laundry list that includes inhumane working and housing conditions for low-skilled workers in local and foreign-owned factories; violent "land grabs," forced evictions and unbridled transfers of Cambodian land to local and foreign investors; and the delayed prosecution of former Khmer Rouge leaders charged with enslaving, starving, and slaughtering some 2 million Cambodians during the 1970s Communist revolution.

    Should those eyeing Cambodia's market simply factor these realities as costs of doing business in an emerging market?

    American enterprises are poised to enter the country. Chevron (CVX), Ford (F), and General Electric (GE) are already there. But even advocates of moving into Cambodia equivocate on whether now is the right time to make a move. A recent communiqué from the US-ASEAN Business Council, a blue chip group chaired by ConocoPhillips (COP), updates members on commercial opportunities in Cambodia, along with reports about throngs of protestors pushing for free and fair elections, tragic worker fatalities due to unsafe factory conditions, and stymied regulatory reforms.

    For American prospectors, considerations over whether to enter Cambodia may extend beyond the usual risk assessments. There's been a long lull in American involvement in the nation. From 1969 to 1972, Washington policymakers entrenched in the Vietnam War decided to broaden their targets. American B-52s dropped 540,000 tons of bombs on Cambodia; death toll estimates range from 150,000 to 500,000 civilians. The decision was highly contested, deeply regretted, and still a prickly point.

    Currently, U.S. presence in Cambodia is largely aid-based, with investments in technical assistance, or "institution building." Last year, Washington extended $121.3 million in 2012 bilateral assistance for health, governance, education, and economic growth projects.

    Some are calling for deeper engagement with Cambodia. U.S. influence is crucial now, as Cambodia bucks the democratic reform trend in the region, argues Ernest Bower, the Sumitro Chair for Southeast Asia Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He says the region is on the cusp of an "ASEAN Spring" with autocracies already giving way to "new and rising expectations for empowerment, governance, and the rule of law." Cambodia, he says, is the outlier, mired "in political instability that should concern its neighbors and ASEAN partners, including the United States."

Disappointing leadership, extensive poverty

    A "strong arm" leader and an early, avid member of the dreaded Khmer Rouge, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen has sidelined, muzzled, and expelled his opposition during nearly 30 years of rule. International monitors routinely condemn Cambodia for unfair elections; this year, British monitors refused to return, saying the Cambodian government had yet to implement their recommendations after the last compromised election.

    Hun Sen's powerful Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, says the Tribunal "demonstrate[s] Cambodia's commitment to the rule of law," and a new, novel approach to justice. Yet, by its own admission, Cambodia's judiciary is rife with extortion, bribery, and political influence peddling.

1 2 3 4 下一页

我来点评

  最新文章

最新文章:

500强情报中心

财富专栏