The World Bank says Cambodia, along with Laos and Myanmar are the fastest growing economies in East Asia.
Ellen Goldstein, the newly appointed World Bank director for Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, said the bank was keeping up its support for the growth of the countries. She committed the bank to enhanced collaboration with the governments and concerned parties of the countries, aiming to end poverty and promote shared prosperity.
“Most recently, these countries have seen the fastest economic growth in East Asia,” she said. “Through our partnership strategy in each country, the World Bank will continue to support inclusive growth that benefits the poor, ” she continued. “I am honoured to have been appointed to represent the World Bank in Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos and look forward to better understanding their unique histories and development paths.”
Ulrich Zachau, the former World Bank regional director for Southeast Asia said that during his five year term, Cambodia had experienced great development, especially in poverty reduction, the main issue to be addressed.
“I think, what impressed me the most is how much Cambodia has continued to change in the short period I have been working here. It is continuing a tremendous pace of economic growth and reduction of poverty,” he said. “I think Cambodia has come a long way. It has been a leader in Asia and the world in reducing poverty.” He went on to say that this was most prevalent in Phnom Penh “but [is] also visible elsewhere in the country where people are better off than they used to be.”
He predicted that Cambodia’s open trade policy would be a big help in boosting exports to global markets as well as attracting more investment in the production sector for export, helping the country to benefit from the strong growth in the region, especially in China.
“Asia will remain a region where growth is booming,” he said.“You have relations with Asean, you have strong relations with China and those are going to continue so it is important in our view for Cambodia to continue doing what it has been doing.”
The World Bank projected that Cambodia’s growth will be around 6.9% this year while the poverty rate fell from 47.8% in 2007 to 13.5% in 2014. The Bank says it is supporting 43 active projects in the three countries, with commitments of more than $2.7 billion.