Cambodia - The new emerging market...?

January 2012

The last time I spoke with my friend Doug Clayton our attention was focused on the unfolding and rapidly rising market in Myanmar, a country Doug is heading to shortly and one I’ll be returning to later this year with some friends. I caught up with Doug fresh off a plane from Haiti, back home in Cambodia.

Doug has lived in Asia for the past 26 years, in 5 different countries and moved from country to country as each has transitioned, or been transitioning, allowing him to pick the low-hanging fruit.
He began in Korea in 1983, then Hong Kong in 1986, Thailand in 1989, Singapore in 2001 and moved to Cambodia in 2007.

Doug has had the good fortune of visiting nearly every Asian country during the 1980’s and 90’s. This allowed him a bird’s eye view of countries in this region emerging and changing, which provided him with critical reference points to work with, something that many foreigners moving into Asia lack.

With that intro now behind us, I have had our most recent conversation transcribed below for your enjoyment. I’m sure you’ll find Doug’s thoughts enlightening… l always do.

Investors eye resourceful Burma

Farmers work in a rice field in Dala township, near Yangon, November 23, 2011

Viewpoint by Douglas Clayton Investor | January 2012

Frontier investors are eyeing Burma as its newly elected government moves to bury the country's pariah status and rejoin the global economy.
President Thein Sein has blunted human rights criticism by releasing political prisoners, relaxing press censorship, and drawing dissident Aung San Suu Kyi into the political process.
Mr Thein seems determined to lead Burma through a comprehensive program of political and economic reform and improved relations with the West.
The sudden charm offensive has caught the world by surprise, and drew the first visit to Burma by a US Secretary of State in more than 50 years.
Foreign investors toting briefcases are starting to replace backpackers on flights to Yangon.