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ADB Expects Slightly Slower Growth in 2015

A man working at a money exchange (R) passes 100 Cambodian riel notes to a client in central Phnom Penh, file photo.

The ADB forecasts GDP growth at 7 percent for 2015 and 7.2 percent for 2016.

Cambodia’s economic growth remains strong, but may be slowing slightly for this year, the Asian Development Bank said Tuesday.

The ADB forecasts GDP growth at 7 percent for 2015 and 7.2 percent the year after, in a world economy that has seen slowed growth in Asia’s developing countries and a slow recovery from economic declines in major industrial economies.

“The expansion of garment manufacturing, construction and services—in particular tourism, finance and real estate services—continues to propel growth,” said ADB senior Cambodia economist Jan Hansen. “Growth in exports and tourism, however, decelerated somewhat in the first half 2015, while agriculture has been affected by prolonged low rainfall.”

Garment and footwear exports climbed by 11 percent, year-on-year, decelerating from 14.5 percent in the first half of 2014. “The garment industry faces increased competition from the appreciation of the US dollar, and from low-wage competitors including Myanmar,” ADB said a statement.

Growth in total merchandise exports slowed to 14 percent, from 18.3 percent.

In a speech Monday, Prime Minister Hun Sen acknowledged the slow growth, but said he was sure it would not dip below 7 percent.