The strong economic growth Cambodia has experienced in the last few decades has benefitted everyone and created opportunities for all, a high-ranking government official said yesterday.
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Speaking during a press conference yesterday, Phan Phalla, under-secretary of state at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, said the wealth generated by this growth has been distributed fairly.
The Kingdom’s economy has grown at an average of about 7 percent in the last twenty years.
The World Bank said this week that the economy is projected to grow at 7 percent in 2019.
In yesterday’s press conference, Mr Phalla stressed that the “fair distribution of wealth” has improved people’s living standards, raising incomes and helping Cambodians enjoy longer, more secure lives.
“The poverty rate has decreased dramatically, from 52 percent in 2004 to 10 percent now,” Mr Phalla said.
The Gini index in Cambodia was 0.29 in 2017, down from 0.34 in 2009, according to Mr Phalla. The index measures the extent to which the distribution of income among individuals or households within an economy deviates from a perfectly equal distribution.
“Peace and political stability have increased the confidence foreign investors have in our economy, which, in turn, has boosted economic growth. Locals now have the possibility of opening a business to increase their income,” Mr Phalla said.
On Tuesday, the National Assembly approved the Budget Law for 2020, which includes a government expenditure of $8.2 billion, a 22.7 percent hike compared with 2019.
Hav Ratanak, director-general of the budget at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, said measures have been taken by ministries and development partners to ensure the projects undertaken with public money benefit all people equally.
“Public investment on infrastructure aims to support economic growth in the long term as well as ensure competitiveness keeps rising and more jobs are created,” Mr Ratanak said.
Economy growth is projected to slow down to 6.5 percent in 2020, bringing the Kingdom’s GDP to $29.4 billion. GDP per capita is expected to hit 1,816 dollars, according to the Budget Law for 2020.