Reconceptualizing the topic of economic diplomacy to incorporate changing global economic realities, in chapter six DARAVUTH Sithy Rath and VRAK Thanit explore the kingdom’s options for economic diversification under industrialization 4.0 and set it within the potential for utilizing the machinery of city diplomacy. They explore the role of economic adaptation under new technologies to empower Cambodian development and to deliver a smart, innovative, and digital transformation to Cambodia’s urban centers. Subsequent empowerment of the kingdom’s diplomatic and economic functions, ushered in under digital-city revolutions, is subsequently highlighted as a means of further economic development opportunity. Through strategic investment and governance in strengthening Cambodia’s cities (beginning with Phnom Penh), the authors identify opportunities for an economic and technological “center of gravity” to instigate a reinforcing cycle of entrepreneurialism, foreign investment, national development, and global smart-city collaboration. Drawing on examples from Bristol to Nanjing, this chapter provides important insight as to the powerful nexus between city infrastructure, digitalization, diplomacy, and economic empowerment.
About the Author
DARAVUTH Sithy Rath and VRAK Thanit
DARAVUTH Sithy Rath is a lecturer of International Affairs at the Department of International Studies of RUPP, and an affiliate policy researcher at the Institute for the Future Economy (IFE) in Malaysia. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Public Policy at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom as a recipient of the Chevening Scholarship (2019 – 2020). Other degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (with honors) from the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics (with honors) from Pannasastra University of Cambodia (PUC). His research interests include Southeast Asian/ASEAN regional affairs, the impacts of technological and social disruptions on public policies, and youth development in the context of intergenerational equity.
VRAK Thanit is a full-time lecturer at the Department of International Studies at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP). He has a B.A. in International Economics (Honors Program) from the Department of International Studies, Institute of Foreign Languages, RUPP, and received a B.A. in Finance and Banking from the National University of Management simultaneously in 2017. His research interests include economic development, poverty, foreign investment, trade, and public policy.