Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia looks to be winner for growth for AEC: ILO

Cambodia looks to be winner for growth for AEC: ILO

Cambodia looks to be winner for growth for AEC: ILO

Cambodia stands to be the biggest beneficiary, in terms of GDP growth, for the first decade following ASEAN Economic Integration in 2015, according to a study released publicly today by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The ILO’s 160-page report says Cambodia could see a 19.9 per cent increase in its GDP value by 2025, provided member states continue to reduce trade costs, remove intra-regional tariffs and liberalise non-tariff barriers.

“The lower-income ASEAN Member States in general see the largest increases in GDP … in part as consumers and producers in these countries face relatively high trade barriers and costs, and thus stand to gain most from increased international trade,” the report states.

But the forecast is “highly optimistic” according to Jayant Menon, lead economist at the ADB’s office of regional integration, who says the model likely takes in to account a rapid flow of capital to support growth that Cambodia does not have the current capacity to absorb.

“Cambodia doesn’t have the kind of skilled labour force or infrastructure to accommodate a rapid increase of capital,” Menon said.

The ILO predicts that while retail, wholesale, trade management and electrical repair jobs will increase the most by 2025 in Cambodia, driven by more attractive wages and higher skills, the share of the population finding employment in the key agricultural sector may steadily decline.

Cambodia’s food processing sector is flagged by the ILO as a potential area for job losses, brought on by weak linkages with the country’s agricultural sector.

“Of particular concern is the potential of trade integration to weaken the food processing sectors in some of these countries, notably Cambodia, Indonesia and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Concerted policy efforts will be required to strengthen the value chains associated with agriculture.”

Ly Visol, Office Manager at The Federation of Associations of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) of Cambodia said yesterday that unfair domestic competition was hampering the food industry – a problem that would make it difficult to achieve the standards needed to compete with regional peers.

“While one SME owner in one company can get around the law, the other owner can’t, yet all of them have to sell their product at the market,” he said.

“In such a system it discourages owners follow the right standards of production, as it is at a higher cost.”

The ILO report titled: ASEAN Community: Managing integration for better jobs and shared prosperity is due out today.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY HOR KIMSAY

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen says Kingdom not a 'satellite country'

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia had sent diplomatic notes to various embassies demonstrating its stance and clarifying allegations that the Kingdom is a satellite country of China which will allow it exclusive access to the Ream Naval Base in Preah Sihanouk province. The response

  • Vast Prince Manor fun park opens to much fanfare in Kandal

    Chinese-owned Prince Culture and Development Co Ltd officially launched the $85 million Prince Manor entertainment centre in Kandal province on Wednesday. Prince Manor is located along National Road 1, 20km from the centre of Phnom Penh. It is the first major theme park project in Cambodia and

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial