Outlook for Cambodia's economic recovery has improved, says ADB

Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of Cambodia, speaking in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 26, 2020, at UN headquarters in New York. - AP

PHNOM PENH, Sept 27 (dpa): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has revised its 2020 growth forecast for Cambodia, predicting the country will fare better than previously expected.

The ADB now forecasts a 4 per cent contraction in Cambodia’s gross domestic project, compared to a contraction of 5.5 per cent, which was forecast in June, it said in a statement released by the bank.

The improved figure came on the back of improved agricultural performance and an increase in non-garment manufacturing exports, such as bicycles and electronics.

Cambodia’s US$9.5 billion garment export industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, which sparked a collapse in global consumer demand.

Its tourism industry, which generated US$5 billion last year, has also been slammed.

ADB Country Director for Cambodia Sunniya Durrani-Jamal said the agency foresaw a relatively strong economic recovery for Cambodia, which has avoided an uncontrolled outbreak of coronavirus cases.

"We expect growth to rebound to 5.9 per cent in 2021, boosted by supportive government policies, social assistance for the poor, and financing support for small and medium-sized enterprises," she said.

The statement, however, noted there were still "risks" on the horizon, including prolonged weakness in garment demand, a sluggish construction sector and the potential for poor harvests. - dpa
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