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NBC projects real economic growth at 7 pct this year

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
Chea Chanto, NBC’s governor. KT

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) said in its mid-year report the country’s real economic growth will average seven percent this year, with strong contribution from the agricultural, industrial and services sectors.

NBC’s forecast on GDP growth concurs with those from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Based on NBC’s latest report, the agricultural sector will grow by 2 percent, industry by 10.2 percent, and services by 6.5 percent this year.

The agriculture sector has benefitted from good climatic conditions so far this year, and will contribute significantly to real economic growth, it says.

In particular, the report projects a 7 percent increase in rice production, with each hectare of farmed land yielding between 4.47 to 4.51 tonnes. Rubber output will grow by 6 percent, with exports of the commodity increasing by as much as 21 percent.

“A cut in global rubber production discussed by the main rubber producing countries (Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam) had a positive impact resulting in higher rubber export prices,” it says.

The report also highlights that the industrial sector still plays a crucial role in boosting economic growth, supported by a solid performance of the construction, garment and footwear, and manufacturing segments.

Speaking at a ceremony Saturday to review the report, NBC’s governor Chea Chanto said the figures are very positive and indicate that the country has experienced significant growth during the first semester of 2018.

He mentioned the substantial growth in the export, construction and tourism sectors, and hailed the recovery of the agricultural sector as a “very positive sign”.

“The Cambodian economy in 2018 will see solid growth due to the trust of the investors, the recovery of the global economy, and solid domestic demand which is increasing along with the rise in people’s incomes over the last 20 years.

“Taking these factors into consideration, we project a GDP per capita of $1,563 in 2018,” Mr Chanto said.

He said the country remains stable from a macroeconomic perspective, with an inflation that, at 2.6 percent, is manageable.

He also said that international reserves will reach $10 billion by the end of 2018, which is sufficient to ensure the import of goods and services for the next six months and to strengthen the trust of investors on the resilience of the Cambodian economy.

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