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In World Bank Assessment, Economic Growth Exceeds Expectations

A man working at a money exchange passes 100 Cambodian riel notes to a client in central Phnom Penh, file photo.
Cambodia has experience “tremendous” economic growth in recent years, with a decreased poverty rate and increased GDP that was one of the best in the world, the World Bank said Thursday.

The bank assessed Cambodia’s economy from the period between 2004 and 2011, finding a poverty rate that fell from nearly 53 percent to 20.5 percent and a per capita GDP that grew 54.5 percent.

The main drivers were better rice prices and wages for farm workers and improved education, health and infrastructure, the bank said in its assessment.

Deputy Prime Minister Keat Chhon told reporters Thursday Cambodia’s growth had far exceeded expectations.

Over the seven-year period, the number of poor Cambodians dropped from 7 million to 3 million, he said, above the government’s goal of reducing poverty by 1 percent per year. That also made Cambodia’s poverty reduction the fourth best worldwide, he said.