The World Bank on Tuesday raised expectations for Cambodia's economic growth in 2010 to nearly 5 percent, up from a 4.4 percent forecast in April.
The Bank cited recovery in the garment and tourism sectors, along with steady growth in agriculture, for its 4.9 percent economic growth estimate. The government has projected a 5 percent growth rate this year.
“Apparel exports rose by 15 percent over the first six months of 2010, reflecting growing personal consumption expenditures in the United States with 16,000 new jobs created since January 2010 after a loss of 43,000 jobs in 2009,” the World Bank said in its 2010 East Asia and Pacific update.
Garment export was expected to rise about 12 percent this year, compared to the year before, with tourism rising 12 percent over the same period, the Bank said.
Growth for 2011 would be bolstered by agriculture, especially rice, which has gained more attention from the government for export but is also facing weather trouble.
”The sector has weathered the global crisis well, but crop production might be negatively affected by the sporadic droughts in some parts of the country,” the Bank said.
Still, export of milled rice is high, with 2010's six-month volume already surpassing the annual export volume from 2009.
However, recovery in foreign investment and construction remained “subdued” in 2010, and consumer price inflation was likely to reach 5 percent, the Bank said.
Vikram Nehru, the Bank's chief economist for the region, said Cambodia still needs to develop the infrastructure and links that will allow it to connect with its neighbors and increase trade.