August 5, 2011

Cambodia's GDP growth likely to exceed 8%: commerce minister


PHNOM PENH, Aug. 4 -- Cambodia's GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is expected to grow over 8 percent this year despite rising inflation, Cambodian Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh said Thursday.

He said three of the country's four economic pillars -- garment exports, tourism, agriculture and real estate -- are expected to post strong increases this year.

"Based on the figures in the first half of this year, the garment and textile exports rose up to 45 percent, tourism industry up by 13 percent, and agriculture is going well. I believe the country's economic growth this year will exceed 8 percent," the minister said at a press briefing after the conclusion of the 17th Greater Mekong Sub-region Ministerial Conference.

Earlier this year, the government forecast this year's GDP growth at 6 percent.

The commerce minister said the real estate and construction sector has also started to recover this year after it was hard hit by the global financial crisis since 2008.

Despite the minister's optimism, Director-general of the National Bank of Cambodia Nguon Sokha warned that the country's inflation could reach as high as 8 percent this year, up from the previous prediction of 5 percent due to soaring prices of petroleum, food, and consuming products.

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