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Cambodia faces further economic headwinds with AMRO downgrading economic growth to 2.7 Percent

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Cambodia’s export sector has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO), in its release revealed the shared common situation of the ASEAN + 3 nations economic growth prospects for this and next year amid headinds caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the report, Cambodia’s economic growth this year is projected at 2.7 percent, but will rise to 6.8 percent next year.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, AMRO projected that Thailand will face -6.0 percent deficit and recover to 4.0 percent next year.

Singapore will face -1.0 percent contraction and recover to 2 percent while Malaysia will face 0.1 minimum growth and recover to 4.6 percent.

Indonesia will face 2.3 percent and recover to 5.3 percent. Brunei Darussalam will face 3.0 percent and slide further to 2.9 percent while Lao PDR will face 3.8 percent and recover to 6.2 percent.

Myanmar will face 4.5 percent and recover to 6.9 percent. The Philippines will face 4.5 percent and recover to 6.7 percent. Vietnam will face 4.5 percent and recover to 7.0 percent.

“2019 was a highly eventful year, marked by the escalating U.S.-China trade tensions, geopolitical conflicts, domestic political unrest, market sell-offs, and extreme weather conditions,” said Dr. Hoe Ee Khor, AMRO’s Chief Economist.

“Just as we were closing the 2019 chapter on a brighter note with the conclusion of the U.S.-China Phase One trade negotiations, geopolitical tensions in the Middle East flared up, driving up oil prices. No sooner had this subsided, the ‘black swan’ COVID-19 virus broke out in China and turned into a global pandemic.”

The rapidly evolving economic and financial market fallout from the fast-spreading pandemic has resulted in the need to constantly reassess the outlook.

AMRO now projects the ASEAN+3 region’s growth to decline sharply to 2 percent in 2020, followed by a strong rebound to 5.5 percent in 2021. Europe and the United States are expected to go into recession just as the outbreak subsides in China and Korea. As a result, China’s economic recovery will be much weaker at 3.5 percent in 2020.

The ASEAN countries are experiencing a surge in the COVID-19 infection and governments have taken very strict measures—including national lockdowns—to contain the outbreak, and adopted large stimulus packages to support their economies.

Nonetheless, the ASEAN economies are expected to weaken sharply and grow at an average of 1.1 percent in 2020, before recovering to 5.2 percent in 2021. Khan Sophirom/AKP

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