WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATED
Updated: 16 Nov-22 Nov,2019

TRADE & COMMERCE | Government Encourages Investment in Sustainable Timber Plantations

The government yesterday asked companies to consider investing in timber plantations in the Kingdom that produce sustainable wood, arguing that these investments help protect the country’s natural resources. Demand for wood is on the rise but few companies are investing in timber plantations in Cambodia, said Sao Sopheap, secretary of state at the Ministry of Environment. The government is also urging companies to process wood here and export wood products to foreign markets, Mr Sopheap said during a speech at the launch of the ‘Human Development Report 2019: Sustaining Natural Resources for All’ by the United Nations Development Program. To incentivise firms, the government doesn’t levy taxes on exports of wood and wood products, he added. (Nov 22, 2019 | Khmer Times)

TRADE & COMMERCE |Better Factories Extended, Expanded To Include Travel Goods

Better Factories Cambodia, a programme of the International Labor Organization, has been extended for another three years and expanded to cover travel goods. The memorandum of understanding to extend the programme was signed yesterday by ILO, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, the Ministry of Commerce, and the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC). The programme, which has been renewed six times since it began in 2001, will run from Jan 2020 to Dec 2022. This time, however, its scope has been broadened to include travel goods. “Since 2001, when BFC was established, the programme has – with all of you – improved working conditions and provided more jobs in the garment sector, with spillover effects to other sectors,” said Graeme Buckley, ILO country director for Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.(Nov 22, 2019 | Khmer Times)

TRADE & COMMERCE | PM Wants More Trade, Investment with Pakistan

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday urged Pakistan to boost trade and investment between the two countries. The appeal was made during a meeting with Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan Qasim Khan Suri at the Peace Palace in Prampi Makara district’s Mittapheap commune in Phnom Penh. Hun Sen said Cambodia established diplomatic relations with Pakistan – then the Dominion of Pakistan – in 1952. However, trade between the two nations remains low compared to many other countries. “The trade volume between the two countries is still very low. [We] want to see both countries find a way to promote and enhance cooperation – especially in terms of the economy and investment,” he said. (Nov 20, 2019 | Phnom Penh Post)

TOURISM | Plan to Boost Ecotourism Launched

The government this week launched a strategy to boost eco-tourism in the Kingdom, aiming to increase revenue from the sector while improving the livelihoods of rural communities and helping protect the country’s natural resources. The 2019-2030 Ecotourism Policy, launched Tuesday during the first National Ecotourism Forum, aims to increase the number of eco-tourism communities in the country to enhance Cambodia’s offer of tourism products. Speaking at the launch, Tourism Minister Thong Khon noted that Cambodia has about 2,300 rural communities, most of them dedicated to agriculture, fisheries, and forest protection, but only 123 function as tourism service providers. These communities are the purview of three ministries – Tourism, Environment, and Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. These ministries are working together to develop the communities into tourism sites, which create new sources of income for locals and expands Cambodia’s offering to tourists, Mr Khon said. ( Nov 21, 2019/ Khmer Times)

FINANCE AND BANKING |Phillipbank Opens Branch, Sports Brand New Look Ahead of Merger

PhillipBank yesterday opened a new branch in Phnom Penh featuring a new design that will eventually be adopted by all branches in Cambodia. The new look is part of the bank’s rebranding as it completes a merger with Kredit Microfinance. The opening of the branch, featuring the bank’s distinctive blue and orange livery, is a milestone in PhillipBank’s development as a full-service commercial bank, with the merger serving the corporate, retail, SME and microfinance segments with a countrywide footprint, according to Chairman Lim Hua Min. (Nov 22, 2019/Khmer Times)

FINANCE AND BANKING | Tax Department’s Director Touts Biggest Collection Yet

The head of the tax department announced yesterday that Cambodia has hit a new high in terms of tax collection, reaching $2.5 billion so far this year. Giving the opening remarks at a tax forum organised by the European Chamber of Commerce (Eurocham), General Department of Taxation Director General Kong Vibol said the original tax collection target for 2019 has been surpassed by 5 percent. Mr Vibol took the opportunity to update attendees on the latest tax-related developments. The GDT boss said several new reforms have been implemented this year to ensure a more efficient tax payment process. He pointed out the adoption of an e-filing system that automatically files payments. Mr Vibol also took the time to address concerns from the private sector. “There have been concerns that foreign companies in the Kingdom are targeted through audits. That isn’t true,” Mr Vibol said, noting that the tax department treats every company in the country as a Cambodian entity. (Nov 22, 2019/Khmer Times)

FINANCE AND BANKING | World Bank Report Warns Of Need For Diversification And Skills Development

The World Bank yesterday launched a new report highlighting the success of Cambodia’s economic development and issued comprehensive policy reform recommendations in order to sustain that growth. Attending the launch were representatives from the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, as well as the Asian Development Bank and numerous luminaries from the Cambodian business community. “Cambodia’s Future Jobs: Linking to the Economy of Tomorrow” lavished praise on the Kingdom for its strong annual GDP growth, but issued stark warnings of problems to come should Cambodia rest on its laurels. (Nov 20, 2019/Khmer Times)

REAL ESTATE AND CONSTRUCTION| Real Estate Marketplace Launched in Phnom Penh

Estate Xchange (Cambodia) Plc, a new real estate and properties marketplace, officially launched in Phnom Penh with Morgan Group as its strategic sales partner. It plans to expand to Siem Reap province at an undetermined date. Speaking at the grand opening and signing ceremony, Ros Sovantha, CEO of Estate Xchange, said it was established for the purpose of gathering  real estate companies, investors, property and real estate agents together to trade properties in the market, including sales, purchases and leasings. “The real estate sector in Cambodia has been growing fast in the last five years, especially in Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Therefore, there is an opportunity to establish an estate exchange,” Mr Sovantha said. (Nov 22, 2019| Khmer Times)

REAL ESTATE AND CONSTRUCTION| Cambodia Real Estate Awards 2019 Officially Launched

Realestate.com.kh held a press conference on Thursday last week at Lumiere Residence to officially announce the launch of Cambodia Real Estate Awards 2019 (CREA 2019), a platform created to recognise excellence in Cambodia’s real estate industry. CREA 2019 is the second annual Cambodia Real Estate Awards, organised by Realestate.com.kh, a leading real estate marketing company, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) and the Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association (CVEA). Joining Mr. Thomas O’Sullivan, the CEO of Realestate.com.kh, at the conference were his excellency Nong Piseth, head of the department of real estate business and pawnshop of MEF and Mr. Suos Chenda, secretary-general of CVEA. His excellency, Piseth, has welcomed and supported Realestate.com.kh’s initiative in organising this award ceremony. He encouraged Realestate.com.kh to continue hosting it for years to come. (Nov 20, 2019| Khmer Times)

CAMBODIA  Selected  Indicators

2013

2014

2015

2016f

2017f

2018f

 

Real GDP growth, at constant market prices

7.4

7.1

7.0

7.0

6.9

6.9

 

Private  Consumption

5.8

4.5

5.9

2.4

2.3

2.2

 

Government   Consumption

5.2

2.4

4.4

3.8

10.3

14.5

 

Gross Fixed Capital Investment

15.3

9.1

10.6

8.1

9.7

16.8

 

Exports, Goods and Services

14.0

11.3

7.2

9.5

8.1

8.3

 

Imports, Goods and Services

15.1

10.1

6.5

5.9

5.8

7.9

 

Real GDP growth, at constant factor prices

7.4

6.9

6.9

6.9

6.9

6.9

 

Agriculture

1.6

0.3

0.2

0.4

0.3

0.7

 

Industry

11.0

9.8

11.7

11.4

9.0

7.7

 

Services

8.7

8.7

7.1

6.8

8.5

9.1

 

Inflation (Consumer Price Index)

2.2

1.7

1.3

3.2

3.4

3.5

 

Current Account Balance (% of GDP)

-9.5

-9.0

-8.5

-8.4

-8.5

-8.7

 

Financial and Capital Account (% of GDP)

15.2

14.6

14.1

13.4

12.0

10.8

 

Net Foreign Direct Investment (% of GDP)

11.8

10.0

9.1

8.5

8.2

7.0

 

Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)

-6.5

-3.8

-2.0

-2.9

-4.9

-4.9

 

Debt (% of GDP)

31.6

31.8

32.1

32.6

33.3

34.0

 

Primary Balance (% of GDP)

-5.8

-3.1

-1.7

-2.5

-4.6

-4.6

 

Sources: World Bank, Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Global Practice, and Poverty Global Practice.

DISCLAIMER

The report is produced based on material compiled from data considered to be reliable at the time of writing. Information and opinions expressed, however, will be subjected to adjusted at short notice. We do not accept any liability directly or indirectly that may arise from investment decision-making based on this report while we tend share as your information only.

 

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