Cambodia is not expected to graduate from its Least Developed Country (LDC) status until after 2025, though it has made progress in furthering its development, a new report by a UN agency said.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) projected in its latest review of the world’s poorest nations, which it undertakes every three years, that the number of LDCs will fall from 48 to 32 by 2025. By that date, Cambodia will be the only Asian country to still hold the classification, it said.
The report gave a positive outlook on Cambodia’s improvements in education, citing the progress made through education sector support initiatives. It also noted that the Kingdom’s private sector has played an effective role in “diversifying . . . production and entering in high-technology global value chains”,
In a different ranking by the World Bank, Cambodia moved from a lower-income bracket to lower-middle-income status earlier this year, which is expected to result in a reduction of trade benefits for the country.
The UNCTAD report said the Cambodian government’s Rectangular Strategy Phase Three “aims at graduating from a low-income country to a lower-middle-income status in the very near future and further to become an upper-middle income country by 2030”.
Prime Minister Hun Sen expressed optimism in November that Cambodia was on track to make the transition by 2030, and to achieve high income status by 2050.