Monday, 10 November 2008

Cambodia vows economic growth at 7%

Taiwan News

Agence France-Presse
Page 15

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday he was committed to maintaining annual economic growth of seven percent, after warnings that the country's red-hot economy would soon slow.

Hun Sen, addressing crowds at Independence Day celebrations, vowed to maintain high GDP growth despite the global financial slowdown, and said the government was committed to reducing poverty by more than one percent per year.

"The government are well aware that the strategic plans are highly ambitious amid the global economic crisis," Hun Sen said at Phnom Penh's Royal Palace.

"But we depend on our experience, our achievements and determination, and we are very positive that the country will accomplish its visions."

The International Monetary Fund recently said that Cambodia's economy is expected to flounder next year as the world crisis deepens.

The country has enjoyed double-digit growth over the past few years, but that will likely ease to 6.5 percent this year and 4.8 percent in 2009 as the crisis deepens, IMF official David Cowen said on Friday. After being written off as a failed state after the devastating 1975-79 Khmer Rouge regime and several decades of civil war, Cambodia has struggled back in recent years to become an improving economic success story.

But despite recent growth, under-employment - where someone's work earns only a meagre return - remains high in Cambodia, while about 35 percent of the country's 14 million people live on less than US$0.50 a day.

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