A New Growth Hub on the Border: Cambodia
The town of Poipet lies in northwest Cambodia, by the border with Thailand. It's home to 3 special economic zones that have attracted manufacturers from around Asia and the West. Just 3 and a half hours by car to Bangkok, labor costs are two-thirds lower than in Thailand, and the government is offering special tax cuts. It's an attractive proposition for many firms, and workers have been drawn to Poipet's buoyant growth. However, not everyone is reaping the economic benefits – the wealth gap between factory staff and other locals is widening. Explore the border town of Poipet, and its dreams of becoming a growth hub for Southeast Asia.
Poipet's 3 special economic zones host 15 manufacturing companies from nearby areas and greater Asia
The zones employ over 10,000 locals, many of whom are in their 20s
A market that sprang up next door to the largest SEZ is always crowded with factory workers
But the zone is also exacerbating the local wealth gap, driving some into slums where they make a living collecting trash