King Norodom Sihamoni praised the government for achieving economic growth and reducing poverty through the implementation of its policies.
A statement from the King was read by National Assembly President Heng Samrin during the National Assembly’s plenary session yesterday.
He said the government continued to promote the implementation of the health sector and plans to improve sanitation as well as the health and welfare of the people, especially the poor, women and children.
“The Royal Government has also made efforts to develop all kinds of transportation, infrastructure networks together with urban infrastructure, to become a vibrant logistics system, contributing to promoting the national economy and improving the people’s living conditions,” King Sihamoni said in the statement.
He added that cultural and natural tourism sites attracted visitors to the country.
“I would like to congratulate the government which has always adhered to the principle of national solidarity to unite the Cambodian nation both inside and outside the country to build and defend social and national achievements, and ensure peace, national unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty, democracy and progress,” the King added.
In his Khmer New Year message, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that in 2017, the economy was estimated to have experienced 6.9 percent growth, especially through the growth of industry, manufacturing, construction, agriculture and services such as tourism and real estate.
Mr Hun Sen said that people’s living standards have improved with an increase in average annual income from $1,042 in 2013 to around $1,435 in 2017.
He added that the poverty rate dropped from 53 percent in 2004 to 13.5 percent in 2014 and continues to drop further in 2017 while the income gap has also declined.
The premier said the government has also earmarked revenue for civil servants and armed forces to earn a higher salary.
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said Cambodia is subject to international conditions to follow multi-party democracy and that foreign countries have reminded the government to improve human rights and democracy.
“The people not only need a good economy, but also development and peace which are associated with freedom and respect for human rights,” he said.
“Cambodians do not yet have economic stability because people still migrate to find work. This requires more attention from the government.”