Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prime minister boasts of strong 2019 growth

Prime minister boasts of strong 2019 growth

Prime minister boasts of strong 2019 growth

The government is touting a strong seven per cent economic growth from last year while bracing for a significant slowdown this year with much of the blame being put on the Covid-19 epidemic.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday said the figure reflected growth in many sectors, including industry, manufacturing, construction, agriculture, service and tourism.

“The Kingdom is transforming its economic structure from agricultural production to industry and service provision.

“The government carefully implemented macroeconomic policies and stabilised the economy by promoting economic diversification and competitiveness. It also promoted the production and consumption of domestic products,” he said.

However, the Asian Development Bank downgraded its economic projection for the Kingdom to 2.3 per cent this year despite a strong growth of around seven per cent annually over the past two decades.

Meanwhile, the latest World Bank report sharply revised Cambodia’s forecast for 2020 economic growth to 1.0 per cent (lower case) and 2.5 per cent (baseline), from around seven per cent previously, depending on two scenarios, it said, in a report released on March 31.

The baseline scenario showed severe growth slowdown followed by a rebound to 5.9 per cent next year while the latter indicated deeper contraction followed by a sluggish recovery.

Hun Sen said the government gained momentum in many sectors last year such as trade, energy and electricity as well as infrastructure, all of which reflected the Kingdom’s strong economic growth.

He noted that hydropower and coal power plant production reached 10.6GWh, up 9.93 per cent compared to 2018.

He said the construction sector has continued to grow and that there are 1,700 high-rises nationwide that are between five and 40 storeys tall.

Last year, he said, tourism revenue reached $10 million, up more than 12 per cent from 2018, with international tourist arrivals to Cambodia totalling 6.61 million visitors during this time.

He said the government opened national roads 7 (93.7km), 13 (62.4km), and 53 and 151B (70.6km) last year. The government also began construction of a 190km high-speed highway from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville.

The project is scheduled to be completed early in 2023 with a $1.9 billion investment by Chinese company Cambodian PPSHV Expressway Co Ltd. It is set to be the main trading route to the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port.

Meanwhile, he said, the government broke ground on renovations of national roads 2 and 22 (72.17km), 10 (198.72km), 58 (174.16km) and 55 (182.16km).

“Road and bridge infrastructure has been consistently constructed in line with the implementation of the Rectangular Strategy Phase IV [under the Public Financial Management Reform Programme],” said Hun Sen.

He said international trade surged to $34.6 billion last year with exports hitting $14.91 billion.

Ministry of Commerce spokesman Seang Thay told The Post on Thursday that despite the ongoing health crisis, the government is working hard to facilitate trade registration.

He said the government is also working to reduce the prices of some public services to continue encouraging trade. In particular, the government is currently in the process of negotiating a number of free trade agreements with many countries.

“A ministry working group is currently negotiating free trade agreements with China, South Korea and Russia while considering agreements with India, the UK and Japan,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • China and India closer to ‘biggest’ showdown

    Indian and Chinese troops remained engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation in several disputed areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh on Thursday, signalling that the confrontation could become the biggest military face-off after the Doklam episode in 2017. Ladakh is a union

  • Central bank to shun small US banknotes

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is considering not accepting smaller denominated US dollar banknotes – $1, $2 and $5 – from banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) which it said are flooding its stockpile as the demand for those notes is low. While some banking insiders welcomed the move as

  • PM lauded in Covid-19 fight

    World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen thanking him for following the WHO’s guidance and commending Cambodia’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19. In his letter made public by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Workers return, hope for salaries

    More than 600 factory workers in the capital’s Chaom Chao commune in Por Sen Chey district returned to work after the factory’s owner promised to pay their salaries in instalments until the middle of next month. On Tuesday and Wednesday, more than 600 workers gathered

  • Women detained for forcing kids to beg

    Two women were sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday for forcing six children to beg for money for several months at the Chhouk Meas market in Krang Thnong commune in the capital’s Sen Sok district. Phnom Penh Department of Anti-human Trafficking and

  • Vietnamese tents baffle border guards

    Kandal and Takeo provincial authorities bordering Vietnam have expressed concern after witnessing irregularities by the Vietnamese authorities, including the deployment of soldiers to erect 114 camps just 30m from the border. Takeo provincial governor Ouch Phea told The Post on Thursday that Vietnamese soldiers had erected 83