ADB predicts 7.2% growth for Cambodia in 2013

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday maintained its projection that economic growth in Cambodia would reach 7.2 percent this year, despite some concerns among economists that foreign investment could take a hit if the current political deadlock is not resolved quickly, The Cambodia Daily reported.


In its periodic review of the economy, the ADB said that strong growth in the garment and construction sectors would lead to an even stronger gross domestic product (GDP) rate of 7.5 percent in 2014.

According to the report, exports of garments and footwear to the U.S. and the European Union increased by 11.3 percent to $2.3 billion during the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2012, while exports of milled rice doubled to $122 million.

“Approvals for construction projects went up sharply to $1.9 billion during the same period, whereas credit for the construction sector grew by 46 percent in June from a year earlier,” the ADB said in a statement.

The economic update also showed that tourist arrivals reached 2.1 million in the first six months, up by 19.1 percent from the previous year. In 2013, the service sector as a whole is projected to grow by 7 percent and agricultural output by about 4 percent.

The projected growth rate gave Cambodia the highest GDP rate in the region apart from Laos, where GDP growth is estimated to reach 7.6 percent this year.