Cambodia's economic growth expected at 7 pct this year: central bank expert

BY  | FROM  | 2017-06-26 16:40

Cambodia's economic growth is expected at 7 percent in 2017, driven by garment export, construction, tourism and agriculture, a National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) expert said on Friday.

With the expected growth, the country's gross domestic product (GDP) will reach about 22 billion U.S. dollars, as the GDP per capita is forecast to hit 1,434 U.S. dollars this year, Duong Sophak, deputy chief of the NBC's Economic Research and International Cooperation Division, said during a seminar here.

"Industry (mainly garment and construction) and service sector (tourism, transport and telecom, trade and real estate) will significantly contribute to the economic growth, as agriculture will see a marginal contribution to the growth," he said.

Sophak said garment export and construction were forecast to grow by 10 percent and 14 percent respectively in 2017, as tourism was projected to see strong growth based on the 12-percent rise in tourist arrivals during the first four months of this year.

Speaking at the seminar, NBC's deputy governor Neav Chanthana said the Southeast Asian country had achieved robust economic growth of 7.7 percent annually in the last two decades, coupled with low and manageable inflation as well as stable exchange rate.

"One of the main challenges to Cambodia's economy is dollarization," she said, adding that despite its benefits, dollarization "exposes the economy to risks and losses, especially imposes constraints on monetary policy implementation."

Foreign currencies, comprising mainly U.S. dollars, accounted for 83 percent of cash and bank deposits in Cambodia at the end of 2015, up from 56 percent in 1995, according to the NBC.

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