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Economy To Shrink 1.5 Percent: ADB

The global economic recession is expected to contract Cambodia’s economy by about 1.5 percent this year, the Asian Development Bank reported Tuesday, with the key economic drivers affected.

Dwindling clothing exports, especially to the US market, along with a slow-down in construction and tourist arrivals, contributed to the ADB’s Development Outlook 2009 Update.

“These domains rely mostly on the global economy,” said Kim Chantha, a spokesman for the ADB.

Clothing exports to the US dropped 27 percent in the first five months of the year, compared to the same period for 2008. Tourist arrivals fell 3 percent in the first four months of the year, compared to the same period the year before. And major construction projects, especially from South Korea, have fallen sharply.

The government had estimated a growth rate of 2 percent, said Tim Phalla, director of the economic guidelines department of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. “The economic situation in Cambodia and the world is changing very quickly, and noting is quite sure.”

The ADB estimated a rebound in 2010, however, with growth reaching 3.5 percent, as global markets slowly recovery, stimulating garment export and tourism.