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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM presses for 6pc growth

PM presses for 6pc growth

THE government is committed to six percent growth in 2009, despite the economic crisis, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Thursday.

The statement is in stark contrast to reports by outside organisations that growth will fall short of five percent for the year. "Despite the downturn, the [government] will try to maintain six percent growth in 2009," said Hun Sen at the opening of the third Cambodia Economic Forum in Phnom Penh.

He pointed to agriculture, tourism and garments as key sectors.

"The garment sector is now in good standing to compete in the world market," he said. For agriculture, he predicted rice yields would rise from 2.5 tonnes per hectare in 2005 to 2.65 tons in 2009, and that tourism "remains generally strong".

The government's growth estimates have consistently overshot those of independent organisations such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

A spokesman for the ADB said estimated growth will hover at around 4.7 percent in 2009.

Garment exports and tourism are expected to show the sharpest declines on softening US clothing demand and falling global tourism spending.

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