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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - IMF revises GDP projection for Cambodia upward to 7%

IMF revises GDP projection for Cambodia upward to 7%

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Garment workers pictured during their working hours in Tai Yang factory, in Kandal province, last month, Sept. 2012. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

The International Monetary Fund has revised Cambodia’s economic growth projection to between 6.5 and 7 per cent, up from 6.2 per cent in April, saying the country could manage a sound macro-economy because of the growth in four main sectors: manufacturing, tourism, agriculture and construction.

According to Ek Tha, spokesman for the Office of the Council of Ministers, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An met with a group of IMF’s mission staff led by Olaf Unteroberdoerster, deputy director for IMF’s Asia and Pacific department in Phnom Penh yesterday to discuss the country’s economic performance and share some economic indicators for the sustainable growth of Cambodia.

“The IMF projected Cambodia’s economic growth to be between 6.5 per cent and 7 per cent this year. Meanwhile, our expectation is that it will grow to at least 7 per cent and beyond that,” Ek Tha said.

Unteroberdoerster was also optimistic about Cambodia’s economic growth this year while the economies of many other countries in the region had not much improved. “Cambodia can maintain a very good and stabilised macro-economy,” he said.  

Hiroshi Suzuki, CEO and Chief of Business Research Institute for Cambodia (BRIC), welcomed the positive forecast of the IMF on Cambodia’s GDP projection which is very realistic in terms of the improvements being made.

“Even 6.5 to 7 per cent is a very high growth rate in the world. I appreciate the positive estimation by the IMF,” he said.

“All four engines of the Cambodian economy show good performance,” he said. “Exports are still strong. Even the exports of garments to the EU are still increasing. The exports from new industries such as automobile parts, whose production just started this year, will contribute the growth of the total export,” said Suzuki.

“The banking sector growth is also strong. This is very important support for the growth of the whole economy.”

Suzuki also expressed concerns over the shadow of slow growth from the West and how that would slightly affect Cambodia’s economy in the upcoming months.

“I am a little concerned about the movement on the international markets, especially oil prices and the agriculture products prices,” Suzuki said.

Economic Minister Keat Chhon said in August the country’s GDP growth in 2012 was at 6.9 per cent, which had slowed from the April figure of 7 per cent because of softer garment exports. He also revised the inflation rate from the forecast of five per cent made  early this year to 3.6 per cent.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Titthara at titthara.may@phnompenhpost.com

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