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Ministry sees strong growth for Kingdom

Workers stitch clothes at a garment factory in the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone.
Workers stitch clothes at a garment factory in the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone. Sahiba Chawdhary

Ministry sees strong growth for Kingdom

Cambodia should continue to see steady economic growth at about 7 percent this year despite potential investor caution that could arise ahead of July’s national election, officials from the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) said on Wednesday.

Vongsey Vissoth, a secretary of state at MEF, presented the details of the ministry’s 2018 economic forecast at a forum held in Phnom Penh, and was largely bullish on the prospects for economic growth.

“Exports continue to grow, and imports are still rising; retail and wholesale activities remain strong, and the tourism industry is also stronger; domestic credit to the private sector continues to grow, and the price of land is not declining,” he said. “These are the leading indicators that reflect the fact that Cambodia’s economy is strong and robust.”

The slowing growth of the garment industry should be offset by a sharp rise in the construction sector, according to the presentation, which was largely in-step with other predictions from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

One potential challenge raised by the official was Cambodia’s trade deficit, as the MEF forecasted $12.2 billion in exports and $15.9 billion in imports this year. Other challenges included Cambodia’s weak logistical infrastructure, low labour productivity and persistent “informal fees” for businesses.

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