Something very important is changing here, now, and in a very fast way. I went to Cambodia and Laos just in time to see and feel the realness of those wonderful countries. The influx of Chinese investors are still destroying the souls of these countries. The south of Cambodia is unfortunately in ‘advance’, the city of Sihanoukville (already renamed as the New Macau) is completely bought by Chinese investors and they are still building resorts, K-TV, casinò, Vietnamese prostitutes (Chinese are fanatics and obsessed of light skin),etc. They have bought a lot of land and building very fast. Obviously the manpower are Chinese workers.
In the near future it will be only Chinese investors controlling the whole real estate sector in Sihanoukville, which would monopolize the market. The result of this would be that land and rental prices will continue to climb, which may deter local Cambodians from visiting Sihanoukville during special occasions, such as; Khmer New Year, Water Festival and Pchum Ben.
Local small businesses such as Tuk Tuk drivers or restaurant owner suffering as the Chinese will no longer use these existing local services once they have their own. This is a major contrast to the Europeans who happily use the services provided by Cambodians.
So, what about Khmer people who are born and still living there? They should leave the place where they born. Is it ethical? I mean, it’s always the same story. Most of Khmer people are very poor and they are still poor even if the country is developing. And rich people became more rich, like always. Sihanoukville is still changed in the worst way – it looks like a carnival for rich Chinese people.
I was shocked when I understood the state but looks like nobody cares about this situation. The only God is the dollar and noone cares about the people.
“A task force established a month ago to address problems stemming from an influx of Chinese investment to Sihanoukville has not received a single report of illegal businesses or taken any enforcement action, with one official maintaining it was impossible to take “serious” action for fear of discouraging more investment.
Despite officials in the coastal enclave having complained for months about increased money laundering, illegal gambling and human trafficking associated with the recent flood of Chinese money and workers, Long Kemvichet, spokesman at the Commerce Ministry in Phnom Penh, which is heading up the task force, said his ministry had not received any reports of irregular foreign businesses since the task force was announced”.
Same situation in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. I have never been there but a Laotian woman told me that Chinese people are building a shopping mall and the small Laotian market is forced to close due the competition. In a couple of years the situation will be untenable for Laotian people.
These social problems make me think a lot and I can’t miss the to tell this situation just because that’s a blog focused in contemporary art. I’m pretty sure the readers will understand that.
Special thanks to Stefano Lira