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ADB keeps Cambodia forecast at 1.5pc drop

ADB keeps Cambodia forecast at 1.5pc drop

THE Asian Development Bank on Tuesday lifted its prediction of economic growth for developing Asia in 2009 and 2010, although the lender kept its Cambodia forecast unchanged at negative 1.5 percent for this year, the latest sign the Kingdom is faring worse than many of its neighbours in its bid to recover from the global downturn.

The ADB lifted its 2009 forecast for 45 developing Asian countries to an average 4.5 percent, up from 3.9 percent in September. In 2010, gross domestic product in the region was expected to hit 6.6 percent, a small improvement on the 6.4 percent forecast made in September.

“The prospects for much of the region look rosier than they did in September,” said Jong-Wha Lee, ADB’s chief economist. “Fiscal and monetary stimulus policies and a moderate improvement in the G-3 economies of Europe, Japan and the US helped East Asia and Southeast Asia in particular.”

By contrast, Cambodia was expected to see growth of just 3.5 percent next year.

“Cambodia’s economy was badly hit by a sharper-than-expected decline in garment exports, construction, and tourism,” the report said.

An International Monetary Fund report on December 9 showed that Cambodia had largely failed to benefit from external stimulus spending, as demand for the Kingdom’s garments in the US – the country’s largest export market – declined 23.1 percent in the first eight months compared to an 14.3 percent drop on average across all suppliers.

The government increased spending 28 percent this year on 2008 levels, according to the ADB.

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