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International Labor Organization Praises Cambodian Economic Growth

The International Labor Organization (ILO) praises Cambodia's economic growth, compared to some countries' growth in SEA, and Pacific, including Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Thai, E. Timor, and Vietnam.

In a press release, ILO considers Cambodia and Vietnam to have made better economic strides in the region since 2000 with annual GDP of 7.3% for Cambodia, 6.5% for Vietnam, and over 5% for Malaysia between 2003-2005. According to ILO, economic growth in both Thailand and Singapore fell in 2005.

Government spokesman and Minister of Information, Khieu Kanharith says ILO's evaluation of the Cambodian economy is correct. He says that the economic growth results from the government's efforts and the donor countries' contributions.

Despite this economic stride, 40% of 14 millions Cambodian people make less than one dollar a day.

In July, Sok Hach's Economic Institute of Cambodia issued a report saying that the government lost 75% of its revenue last year due to tax evasions.

The report prompted negative reactions from Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Opposition Sam Rainsy party (SRP) legislator, Son Chhay acknowledges the stride, but criticizes the unbalanced distribution of economic benefits to the general public. He says the gap between the rich and the poor in Cambodia is still wide.

Faculty of Business and Economics, and director of Cambodia's Development Institute, Dr. Kang Chandararoth, says that if we look at the economic stride, it is appropriate, but that this is biased.

Dr. Kang Chandararoth says that Vietnam can produce from nominal products to better ones, having motorcycle and car production factories, and electronic productions, whereas Cambodia does not have any of these, therefore the economic strides are not substantial.