In the two days at the conference I saw many presentations by Cambodians about Law, agriculture, and economics. While listening to those presentations and the resulting question and answer time I felt that there were two major views of development for Cambodia. The frist view had speed being the key to development. They feel that Cambodia has been on the bottom for too long and needs to enter the world stage as soon as possible. This means bringing in machines for harvesting and producing oil and becoming more like other countries. The other side wants to retain their culture and heritage. They want to develop but they want to keep the essence of Cambodia for ever embedded in this country.
So what should they do? The quicker the development the sooner the standard of living raises and the sooner some comfort can be restored to a country that has had an unfair share of bad experiences. But, the Cambodian culture is beautiful in very many ways. I personally would say taking a slower road and preserving the culture would be better (but that is easy to say when I’m going back to my own country in about a week and am not going to be a part of the journey long or short.) Development will happen and has happened. I’ve been told that Cambodia is developing very fast and I’ve noticed that the cities have many different morals from the small villages. Whether Cambodia can develop quickly while retaining its culture only time can tell.