Following recent speeches praising Cambodia’s stability under his leadership, Prime Minister Hun Sen took to the podium yesterday to gaze into the Kingdom’s future prospects for development and growth.
“Step-by-step from a country that has experienced both war and peace, we have achieved excellent development to this point,” he said in a speech in Prey Veng province, while inaugurating a university.
This year would see Cambodia move from a low-income to a lower-middle-income nation, Hun Sen claimed, before outlining future development goals.
“We are looking to 2030 for when we become an upper-middle-income nation, and towards 2050 for when Cambodia turns into a developed country,” he said.
The World Bank classifies economies as low-income if they have a gross national income (GNI) per capita of $1,025 or less, lower-middle income for a GNI of $1,026-$4,035 and upper-middle income for $4,036-$12,475.
According to World Bank data, Cambodia’s GNI per capita was $820 in 2011.
Avoiding the “middle-income trap” – in which developing economies struggle to compete with the exports of low-cost manufacturing nations and high-tech developed nations – would be crucial for Cambodia, Hun Sen said.
“The development of human resources is a priority . . . No country manages to develop without strong human resources,” he said, adding that the Kingdom would need to create a highly skilled “knowledge economy”.
“Myself and other leaders may not survive until 2050. But we must prepare our vision.”