WITH the economic crisis spreading through Asian economies, Prime Minister Hun Sen urged international cooperation and government action to prevent a property market crash from dragging down the Cambodian economy.
"The economic crisis started in the real estate sector, and if Cambodia is not careful, we will have the same problem," he said at the fourth Asia Economic Forum, which opened Tuesday in Phnom Penh and ends today.
"The global financial crisis tells us that we must try to find urgent solutions to control the problems in our financial system."
Business leaders and economists fear the international economic turmoil could spread to Cambodia and drive down foreign direct investment and the property market.
But in his speech, Hun Sen predicted that China's economy would withstand the economic troubles and could help Asia avoid the worst effects of the crisis.
"The strong economy in China is not a threat, but a good opportunity for neighbouring countries. Cambodia receives a lot of benefit from [Chinese] investment," he said.
Hun Sen also urged nations to cooperate to prevent the crisis from spreading.
"The financial crisis shows that all nations need each other, even if they are self-sufficient. Isolationist economic and political policies will not work," he said.
"To solve the economic problem, we need long-term solutions," he added.
Hun Sen added that governments from around Asia and Europe would meet at the end of this month in Beijing to discuss the crisis.
He said that human resources, agriculture and trade would be key growth areas over the short- and medium-term.