Although Cambodia has significantly reduced its poverty rate – from 53% in 2004 to below 18% in 2016 – it is still one of the least developed countries in the world. Deficiencies in the infrastructure, high energy costs, corruption and a low level of education are hampering economic development. The most important economic sectors are agriculture, textile and shoe production, the construction industry and tourism.
Laos has similar development problems as Cambodia, but is more determined to push ahead with modernization. The most important engines of economic development are mining (gold, copper, iron ore), electricity generation from hydropower, agriculture, the textile industry and tourism, whose income has more than quadrupled since 2000.
East Timor (Timor-Leste) is not a member of ASEAN, but applied for membership in 2011. Because the economy is largely based on oil exports, government revenues are dependent on fluctuating world market prices. Almost 40% of the population live on less than US $ 1.25 a day, and only a third of the population has access to electricity. In addition to oil, the most important export goods are agricultural products such as coffee, vanilla, cocoa and peanuts. The touristic potential is hardly exhausted. For more information about the continent of Asia, please check softwareleverage.org.