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Good Governance Could Grow Economy: Analyst

The Cambodian textile export sector has seen a 21 percent increase over the last 10 months.
The Cambodian textile export sector has seen a 21 percent increase over the last 10 months.

With strong recovery in garments and tourism, and strong growth in agriculture, the International Monetary Fund and government predict a growth rate of 6 percent to 7 percent next year.

But an independent analyst says Cambodia could see growth as high as 10 percent in coming years if governance is improved.

“If there is good reform on good governance, we will have powerful growth, more than 10 percent,” said Chan Sophal, director of the Cambodian Economic Association. “If we reform slowly, we’ll get growth of 6 percent to 7 percent a year.”

Shared wealth and the benefits of that growth will also depend on good governance, he said. Economic equity means that people receive a good base depending on their capacity, knowledge and resources.

Better governance will attract more foreign investment, create more jobs and reduce corruption, he said. More workers will be trained, and less land disputes will sow discontent.

Cambodia is located in a part of the world that is growing, attracting Chinese and Vietnamese investment along with the big markets of the US and EU for garments, he said. And while regional neighbors are growing out of garment production, that creates an opportunity for Cambodia to move into more of it, leading to more growth.

Cambodian garment workers have low salaries, making it more attractive amid strong competition, he said.

Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union of the Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, said more orders had been made in recent months and that some factories are now operating around the clock.