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Cambodia growing fast, says World Bank

May Kunmakara / Khmer Times Share:
Cambodia has one of the fastest growing economies, along with Laos and Myanmar, says the World Bank. KT/Fabien Mouret

The World Bank says Cambodia along with Laos and Myanmar are the fastest growing economies in East Asia.

Ellen Goldstein, the newly appointed World Bank director for Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, said the bank was keeping up its support for the growth of the countries.

She committed the bank to enhanced collaboration with the governments and concerned parties of the countries, aiming to end poverty and promote shared prosperity.

“Most recently, these countries have seen the fastest economic growth in East Asia,” she said.

“Through our partnership strategy in each country, the World Bank will continue to support inclusive growth that benefits the poor.

“I am honoured to have been appointed to represent the World Bank in Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos and look forward to better understanding their unique histories and development paths,” she said.

Ulrich Zachau, the former World Bank country director for Southeast Asia and who has been working in Cambodia for five years, said that during his term he had noticed much development in Cambodia, especially in poverty reduction, which was the main issue to be tackled.

“I think, what impressed me the most is how much Cambodia has continued to change in the short period I have been working here.

“It is continuing a tremendous pace of economic growth and reduction of poverty,” he said.

“I think Cambodia has come a long way. It has been a leader in Asia and the world in reducing poverty.

“It is visible in Phnom Penh but also visible elsewhere in the country where people are better off than they used to be,” he said.

He said Cambodia’s open trade policy would be a big help in boosting export to global markets as well as attracting more investment in the production sector for export.

This would help the country benefit from the strong growth in the region, especially in China.

“Asia will remain a region where growth is booming,” he said.

“You have relations with Asean, you have strong relations with China and those are going to continue so it is important in our view for Cambodia to continue doing what it has been doing.”

The World Bank projected that Cambodia’s growth will be around 6.9 per cent this year while the poverty rate fell from 47.8 percent in 2007 to 13.5 percent in 2014.

The Bank says it is supporting 43 active projects in the three countries, with commitments of more than $2.7 billion.

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