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UN predicts 4 percent growth for Cambodia

A United Nations report has forecasted four percent GDP growth in Cambodia this year, the lowest forecast yet among four major agency predictions.

The improving global economic environment, increasing trade levels, and the reviving tourism sector have all contributed to the more optimistic outlook, according to Amy Wong, economic affairs officer at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

The forecast follows previous estimates already released by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and International Monetary Fund of 4.4 percent, 4.5 percent and 4.8 percent respectively.

The UN report, an economic and social survey of Asia and the Pacific released on Wednesday, expected the inflation rate this year to be about 5 percent, assuming there is no spike in fuel prices.

Ms Wong said Cambodia’s GDP growth was zero percent last year because of the downturn in exports. 

Hang Chuon Naron, secretary general of the finance ministry, said Wednesday that Cambodia’s GDP this year would be more likely to be around five percent, from 0.1 percent last year.

“For the first quarter of this year, we’ve already seen both the garment sector and tourism rise around nine percent each and we expect the agricultural sector to grow around four to five percent this year. Construction will probably still be in a recession – but it may take up to three years for that sector to recover,” he said.

Contributed by: Nguon Sovan 
City: Phnom Penh
Country: Cambodia
Date: May 13, 2010

Credits: The Phnom Penh Post
Thursday, May 13, 2010