The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) will host its seventh Annual Macroeconomic Conference under the theme “Discussion of Cambodia’s Economic Development Models” to gather input from academics, researchers, industry insiders and economists about how to structure the economy in a post-Covid-19 world.
The conference is scheduled for December in Phnom Penh, a date which was chosen to allow time for the public and key stakeholders to register in advance.
NBC said in an announcement that since early this year, the Covid-19 pandemic has derailed the world economy, particularly in countries that are dependent on external sectors, due to a dramatic drop in international trade and investment.
The global health crisis has created a parallel economic crisis which has changed the fundamental structure and operation of the economy, it said.
NBC said: “For Cambodia, as an open economy that relies on external sectors, especially on exports of garment products, tourism, construction and investment, 2020’s growth has faced a slowdown, much like other countries in the world.
“To adapt to the new context of the world economy, what economic model should Cambodia adopt to make it resilient to shocks and able to achieve planned targets?”
It said the objective of the conference is to promote economic research and discuss sustainable economic development models. Another goal is to establish firm economic policies to ensure that the government can achieve its vision for the future.
On May 29, the World Bank revised its projection of Cambodia’s economy and expects it to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this year.
The World Bank cited Covid-19 as the main culprit. Tourism, manufacturing and construction had accounted for more than 70 per cent of the economy’s projected growth and all three sectors were heavily affected by the pandemic.
Almost 40 per cent of the country’s paid employees work in one of the three sectors and the World Bank estimates that the economic contraction puts at least 1.76 million jobs at risk.
Its country manager for Cambodia Inguna Dobraja said: “The global shock triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted Cambodia’s economy.
“The World Bank is committed to helping Cambodia deal effectively with the Covid-19 crisis and preparing the economy for recovery and future resilience.”
The Cambodia Microfinance Association has approved loan restructures worth more than $817 million to more than 180,000 customers, it said in a report last week.
It added that nearly 200,000 customers have requested loan restructures since last month.