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Economic forum aims at global crisis

ABOUT 100 participants are gearing up to attend this year's third annual Cambodia Economic Forum (CEF), with the global economic crisis topping the agenda.

The conference is organised by UN Development Program and the Cambodian government, and will attract delegates from the public and private sector.

"The question of what Cambodia can do to mitigate the effects of this crisis is becoming increasingly urgent as tourism numbers taper off and garment factory orders dwindle," wrote a UNDP spokesman in an email response.

The UNDP says that an important theme will be the impact of the crisis on poverty alleviation.

CEF is focusing on "increasing Cambodia's competitiveness for growth and poverty reduction in the face of the global financial crisis", said UNDP.

A range of policy options to improve Cambodia's competitiveness and sustain its economic growth will be presented to the government, the private sector and development partners.

Discussion will focus on policies to diversify the economy, increase productivity, expand market access and enhance trade while reducing poverty.

Four major studies will be presented, including one by UNDP and one by the World Bank, said conference organisers.  The conference starts Thursday at the Raffles Le Royal Hotel.

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