Cambodian economy will be ‘worst hit in Asean’ ADB

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said the Kingdom will see losses amount to more than $390 million due to the economic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak this year.

 

Cambodia is also set to suffer the worst economic impacts caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak among the Asean member states.

The government has already downgraded its economic growth forecast projection for this year to 6.1 per cent from 6.5 per cent due to Covid-19, climate change, and geopolitics.

ADB also forecast economic losses across the Asian region – Thailand is forecast to lose $5,601 million or -1.11 per cent of its GDP, Singapore $1,047million (-0.57 per cent) and Vietnam $1,012 million (-0.41 per cent).

Lao PDR is also forecast to lose $39.27 million or -0.22 per cent of its GDP, Malaysia $830 million (-0.23 per cent), Philippines $989million (-0.3 per cent), Indonesia $2,263 million (-0.22 per cent), and Brunei $28million (-0.21 per cent).

The ADB said the global impact of the virus ranges between $77 billion and $347 billion, with the China accounting for two-thirds of the total.

It said the ongoing Covid-19 situation is affecting China and other developing Asian economies through numerous channels, including sharp declines in domestic demand, lower tourism and business travel, reduced trade and production linkages, supply disruptions, and health effects.

Ministry of Economy and Finance spokespersons, Kim Sopheak told The Post that the ministry is studying the economic impacts of Covid-19, and hopes to publish its findings as soon as possible.

Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) director Chan Sophal, said the Kingdom’s economy will be heavily impacted by the virus.

“I expect the loss to be much more than this [ADB’s data], but we don’t have any accurate data yet because the pandemic is still ongoing, and the situation is uncertain. However, I believe that the size of the impact will account for $1 billion,” Sophal said.

In 2018, income from international tourism grew by 20.3 per cent compared to 2017. Tourism revenue contributes about 12.1 per cent to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product, the Ministry of Tourism said.

Cambodia earned $4.91 billion in international tourism revenue last year, a 12.4 per cent increase over 2018’s $4.37 billion, said the ABD report.

Most developing Asian economies are already responding to the Covid-19 outbreak in various ways. Many governments have mobilised inter-agency task forces and other coordinating mechanisms to ensure a harmonised response, the ADB said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen earlier this month said the government had allocated $800 million to $2 billion to address the economic impacts of the novel coronavirus outbreak, including $30 million for the Ministry of Health to fight the virus.

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