Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom’s debt grows to nearly $6 billion

Kingdom’s debt grows to nearly $6 billion

Kingdom’s debt grows to nearly $6 billion

Cambodia's national debt stood at $5.8 billion at the end of 2016, totalling nearly a third of GDP, according to the latest debt bulletin released by the Ministry and Economy and Finance earlier this month.

The report revealed that the Cambodian government signed agreements to receive $803 million in concessional loans last year, which increased the total borrowing since 1993 to more than $8.3 billion.

Approximately 60 percent of the loans granted last year were disbursed by foreign governments, while the remaining 40 percent were issued by international lending institutions.

Roughly 73 percent of the lending went to infrastructure projects while the rest went to “other priority sectors”, the report said. The newly released national debt figure puts Cambodia’s debt-to-GDP ratio at about 31.6 percent.

China was Cambodia’s largest single creditor last year at $266 million, while members of the Paris Club, that include France and Japan, gave out a combined total of $181 million.

Multilateral development agencies, including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, loaned a total of $315 million in 2016.

Chan Sophal, director of the Centre for Policy Studies, said that Cambodia’s current level of outstanding debt was manageable given the Kingdom’s country status.

“The level of debt currently is not a concern compared to other countries in similar stages of development,” he said. “With increasing revenue mobilisation and exports, Cambodia’s capacity to service debt has also increased significantly.”

He advocated that Cambodia needed to increase borrowing provided that the loans are used effectively and efficiently to fuel growth and development in the future.

“Cambodia still needs a lot more infrastructure in priority areas such as reservoirs and irrigation systems, roads and bridges,” he said.

While he predicted that Cambodian would likely continue to depend heavily on China, he said that the Kingdom should diversify its debt sources.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian