Cambodia’s economy expands
PHNOM PENH, 15 December 2011: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said the country’s economy would grow by about 7% in 2011 despite the agricultural damage caused by unusually heavy flooding.
Cambodia’s deadliest floods in over a decade, triggered by heavy rains in August and September, killed at least 247 people and destroyed nearly one tenth of the nation’s rice paddies.
“I would like to confirm that although the agricultural sector growth is at zero percent, Cambodia’s economic growth rate will be around seven percent this year,” Hun Sen said during a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh.
The International Monetary Fund last week projected that Cambodia’s economic growth in 2011 would fall slightly below 6% as a result of the floods, down from an earlier forecast of 6.7%.
The global body said it expected Cambodia’s gross domestic product growth to reach 7.25% in 2012.
Written off as a failed state after the devastating 1975 to 1979 Khmer Rouge regime and several decades of civil war, Cambodia has used garment and footwear exports and tourism to help improve its economy.
The country enjoyed several years of double-digit economic growth before being hit hard by the global financial crisis which began in 2007.
But like much of Asia, Cambodia has bounced back and achieved 5.9% growth in 2010, according to Hun Sen.
Cambodia remains one of the world’s poorest countries, with around 30% of its 14 million people living on less than a dollar a day.
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