The GDP growth forecast from the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) October 2023 World Economic Outlook for the next year shows that the country will be among the top 15 fastest-growing economies.
The IMF predicts the Cambodian economy to grow at 6.1 percent, which is the highest in the Asean region. Cambodia is ranked 14 on the list which is topped by Macao SAR (27.2 percent growth).
Guyana (26.6 percent) stands second in the list followed by Palau (12.4 percent), Niger (11.1 percent), Senegal (8.8 percent), Libya (7.5 percent), Rwanda (7 percent), Cote d’Ivoire (6.6 percent), Burkina Faso (6.4 percent), Benin (6.3 percent), India (6.3 percent), The Gambia (6.2 percent) and Ethiopia (6.2 percent).
The IMF has convened the 2023 Article IV Consultation from October 18 until October 31, 2023, to discuss macroeconomic developments, the outlook and policies with Cambodian counterparts. The Article IV Consultation will be led by Davide Furceri, IMF Mission Chief for Cambodia.
Speaking to Khmer Times a few weeks ago, World Bank East Asia and Pacific Chief Economist Aaditya Mattoo said the growth prospects look bright for the Kingdom with the tourism sector recovering from pandemic lows, rising exports along with a resurgence in the agriculture and manufacturing sector.
“Cambodia is expected to grow 5.5 percent in the current year and 6.1 percent in 2024 as per the World Bank Group projections. The Kingdom is going to gain a lot in terms of market access by being part of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. The country is making strides with the new Investment Law as well as digitalisation efforts.”
However, Aaditya Mattoo emphasised that Cambodia must focus more on skill development and increasing connectivity, which are important factors that determine a country’s growth prospects. “The government must maintain these two elements as central to development goals.”
Edwin Vamderbruggen, Senior Partner of advisory firm VDB Loi in Phnom Penh, told Khmer Times that the growth in certain select areas “over the last few years is clear to us, in practice”. He cited the major sectors of growth including “energy production, particularly renewables, and transmission along with financial services such as banking and insurance. “We have also seen high-profile projects in real estate development, industrial and public infrastructure, with more projects lined up.”
Vichet Lor, Vice-President of the Cambodia Chinese Commerce Association, said the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) along with the Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI) initiatives are great economic tools and financial instruments to enable Cambodia to realise its ambition to assume a high-income country status by 2050.
He observed that the Asean region including Cambodia will remain one of the major economic growth engines in the world. “Asean economic importance and contribution to the world economic growth will be further extended and transcend beyond national boundaries through RCEP and the Asean regional embracement of fintech as one of the emerging pillars of growth of the next decade and beyond.
“Asean will continue to play a much more important role through its emerging economic powers and resilient growth year by year as shown by both China and the United States showing higher engagement to this region than in the past.
“As evidenced by the forecasts from ADB, IMF and the World Bank, the Asean region holds the key to promising growth and prosperity of the middle-class through its multi-faceted and multi-dimensional economies with its proud legacy of diversity.” At 5.9 percent, the Philippines has been predicted to become the second fastest-growing economy in Asean in 2024 and Vietnam comes close behind (5.8 percent).
Source : Khmer Press