Senior minister Ly Thuch, head of the National Committee for the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), has affirmed that Prime Minister Hun Sen’s economic ideology and vision, dubbed Hunsenomics, have equipped Cambodia to navigate economic obstacles, food security concerns, global economic crises and various social predicaments.

Thuch addressed a policy consultation on economic and social survey in the Asia-Pacific region on July 13. The event was hosted by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) in Phnom Penh. Attendees included senior ministers, experts from the Cambodian government, academics, development partners and specialists from UN ESCAP.

Thuch praised Hun Sen’s economic strategy and long-term outlook, implemented since the country’s liberation from the Pol Pot regime. He highlighted that this approach has gained recognition and appreciation at regional and international levels.

“The Prime Minister has focused primarily on revitalising social economies, people’s livelihoods, infrastructure, and providing nationwide social services. He transformed a stagnant economy into a growing one, enhancing the people’s quality of life,” Thuch said.

Thuch added that despite facing global and regional economic crises, the Prime Minister’s skilful economic leadership has successfully steered Cambodia through all situations.

He emphasised that over two decades of economic growth have ushered in significant changes in Cambodia. This growth has put the nation at the forefront of poverty reduction.

Cambodia advanced to a lower-middle-income country in 2015 and is projected to become an upper-middle-income country by 2030.

Thuch acknowledged that the global economy is confronting several complex crises, leading to political issues and tax-related challenges as public debts rise in many countries. In this context, Cambodia needs to maintain a balance between socio-economic advancement and long-term tax stability.

A press release on the policy consultation on economic and social survey in Asia-Pacific 2023 outlined the Cambodian government’s strategies to ensure debt sustainability. These include effective debt management, monitoring and managing borrowing levels, and maintaining tax discipline.

The press release further stated that the government has made concerted efforts to stimulate economic growth and foster sustainable development.

Steps include enhancing debt management capabilities, implementing policies to attract investment and increase productivity and competitiveness, expanding export potential, reducing loan dependence, and diversifying exports to enhance competitiveness in global markets. This strategy includes establishing multi and bilateral trade agreements with countries regionally and globally.

For bolstering domestic revenue, the government has expanded tax collection bases, strengthened tax collection systems, and minimised tax evasion. It also examines and evaluates risks to identify vulnerabilities and threats to debt sustainability through regular checks of debt indicators and risk assessments.