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Cambodia to see strong growth despite political uncertainties, says ADB

Cambodia's economy is estimated to expand 7 per cent in 2017. — AFP pic
Cambodia's economy is estimated to expand 7 per cent in 2017. — AFP pic

PHNOM PENH, April 11 —  Cambodia’s economy is forecast to grow 7 per cent this year and next despite uncertainties from its national elections, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said today.

The economy is estimated to expand 7 per cent in 2017.

Cambodia is preparing for a general election in July that veteran Prime Minister Hun Sen is widely expected to win, with the main opposition party banned and its leaders lumbered with legal cases that have blocked them from politics.

Merchandise exports growth moderated to 9.3 per cent in 2017 from 10.1 per cent previously, but tourist arrivals, led by China, rose 11.8 per cent, the ADB said.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) grew 21.5 per cent last year to US$2.7 billion, it added.

The ADB said construction moderated but still grew robustly, with imports of construction materials up 36 per cent and construction projects approved rising 27 per cent.

“We haven’t really seen an impact or any higher uncertainty, and any impact on foreign direct investment,” ADB senior country economist Jan Hansen told a news conference on Wednesday, referring to the election in July.

“In the banking sector...we have seen high growth in deposits which is a testimony to the high level of confidence in the sector,” he said.

Hansen said he did not see the European Union cutting trade preferences to Cambodia, a threat raised by the bloc after the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) was dissolved last year at the request of Hun Sen’s government. — Reuters

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