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Here is your Mekong Memo Cambodia for the week of October 23, 2023.
Saudi-Cambodia Ties Flourish: Focus on Trade, Energy, and Development
Saudi Arabia and Cambodia are forging stronger ties, with a focus on trade, investment, and energy. Prime Minister Hun Manet's recent meetings with Saudi officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have emphasized the potential for increased bilateral collaboration. The Saudi Fund for Development has expressed interest in funding Cambodian projects, particularly in agriculture and infrastructure. These developments come as Cambodia seeks to diversify its diplomatic relations and attract investment from major oil-exporting nations like Saudi Arabia.
IMF Adjusts ASEAN Economic Projections
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has updated its economic growth forecasts for ASEAN countries, including Cambodia, due to global and regional economic challenges, notably influenced by China's economic deceleration. The IMF now predicts ASEAN's growth to be 4.2% in 2023 and 4.6% in 2024, marking a slight decrease from earlier predictions. Specifically, Cambodia's growth has been adjusted from 5.8% to 5.6% for 2023. Despite these revisions, the IMF remains more optimistic than the World Bank's projections, citing expected improvements in exports, diversification, and increased foreign direct investment.
A Triumph of Dramatic Poverty Reduction
Cambodia has witnessed a remarkable decline in its poverty rate over the past 7 and a half years, with the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) value dropping from 0.168 in 2014 to 0.070 in 2021/2022. This translates to a reduction in the incidence of poverty from 36.7% to 16.6%. As a result, approximately 2.8 million Cambodians have risen out of poverty. This positive trend is attributed to advancements in health and living standards, particularly in areas like child mortality, nutrition, and sanitation. Challenges continue to persist in the education and housing sectors.
Read more: Khmer Times
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