WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATED
Updated: 21 Dec-27 Dec,2019

TRADE & COMMERCE | Exporter Urges Kampot Pepper Farmers To Focus On Quality

An exporter has asked farmers to focus on producing high-quality pepper by following strict standards to strengthen demand for their products abroad. Hay Ly Eang, chairman of Confirel, told the Khmer Times last week that Kampot pepper continues to sell well internationally, particularly in Europe. However, he said farmers must focus more on quality to keep sales strong. “Most farmers just care about price. They forget quality. Quality is what they must prioritise,” Mr Ly Eang said. Kampot pepper was awarded geographical indication status in the EU in 2015, a distinction that guarantees a certain price for the commodity in international markets. According to the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association, 50 percent of Kampot pepper is exported to the EU, while 30 percent is consumed internally. The rest is exported to the United States, Japan, and South Korea. (Dec 24, 2019 | Khmer Times)

TRADE & COMMERCE | PM: Da Market to Address Trade Deficit With Vietnam

It was announced at the inauguration of the jointly constructed Da Market in Tbong Khmum province on Tuesday that Cambodia and Vietnam are to build two more markets along their shared border to increase bilateral trade and boost the Kingdom’s exports. Presiding over the launch, Prime Minister Hun Sen encouraged provincial officials to cooperate with the Ministry of Commerce on the construction of the two frontier markets in Svay Rieng and Kampot provinces. Hun Sen hailed the construction of Da Market, saying it would serve as a model for future projects after having taken some 10 years of bilateral cooperation to be realised. “I hope that [Da Market] becomes a model market for us [in promoting] the trade of goods. If the project fails, plans to set up similar markets in other provinces will also fail.  (Dec 24, 2019 |Phnom Penh Post)

TOURISM | Glamping Spot to Release Stress

Romlech Dam sometimes reminds one of life – the good and the bad. Located in Chhumkiri district, it is also known as M’lech Dam and was built by victims of the Khmer Rouge regime who were forced to dig the massive 1,000m by 100m reservoir. Some say thousands died of sickness, starvation or from simply being over-worked as they built it with just a little ration to sustain them. Leaving its sad past behind, the dam is just 100km off-the-beaten-track from the capital. Visitors can soak in its majesty and take in its mountainous natural surroundings that have today brought new life to the place where so many died needlessly. “After sunset, we start a campfire, play music and dance,” says Virak Chandara, the owner of a glamping spot called The Safari. ‘Glamping’ – which is coined from “glamorous” and “camping” – has grown to become an increasingly popular activity where people bring the luxury of the great indoors to the outside world. It has also come into vogue among younger people, thanks to its popularity on social media. ( Dec 25, 2019/ Phnom Penh Post)

TOURISM | Visitors To The Coast Up Significantly

The Ministry of Tourism projects that at least 1.3 million foreign nationals and 3.4 million domestic tourists will visit the Cambodian coast in 2019. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Sea Festival on Saturday, minister Thong Khon said the number of tourists, domestic and international, visiting coastal areas in the Kingdom continues to increase every year. This year, the Sea Festival, now in its eighth edition, is being held in Kampot province. The minister expects foreign tourists visiting the coast to increase by 4.5 percent in 2019. About 15 percent of all foreign tourists in the Kingdom choose to visit the coast. Domestic tourists will increase by 3 percent, Mr Khon said. The minister praised the Cambodian coast during his speech. “The diversity and cultural resources on the coast and on the islands is a great advantage for Cambodia.” (Dec 23, 2019/Khmer Times)

FINANCE AND BANKING | Acleda, PPCBank Granted Listing Eligibility

Two of Cambodia’s leading commercial banks – locally owned Acleda Bank Plc (Acleda) and South Korean-owned Phnom Penh Commercial Bank Plc (PPCBank) – have been granted listing eligibility from the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX). This paves the way for the banks to move forward with plans to be publicly traded. CSX said the banks were approved after the conclusion of its equity securities listing eligibility review on Wednesday. As a result, Acleda is the first commercial bank to receive principle approval for its initial public offering (IPO), with PPCBank the first South Korean commercial bank to achieve the same benchmark. The banks are still required to “meet further CSX listing requirements”, the bourse said. Acleda received a letter from the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) on November 26 allowing it to proceed with its plans for an initial public offering (IPO) – triggering the equity securities listing eligibility review. (Dec 25, 2019/Phnom Penh Post)

FINANCE AND BANKING | The Ultimate Guide To Banking For Foreigners In Cambodia

 It’s a well-known fact that Cambodia offers affordable living standards complemented by the trademark Asian hospitality. That’s why it’s no surprise that the Kingdom of Cambodia has been a choice destination for expatriates over the past decade. However, not many discuss the nitty-gritty of actual everyday life in the country. So, to make your life easier, Realestate.com.kh is giving you the essentials of how banking works for expatriates in Cambodia! The Cambodian Riel (KHR) is the official currency of Cambodia, however, the U.S. dollar is widely accepted throughout the country. Both currencies are used in everyday transactions; with the USD used for big transactions and the KHR usually used for small purchases or as petty change. (Dec 21, 2019/Khmer Times)

AGRICULTURE | Ambitious Agricultural Development Strategic Plan Launched

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries yesterday launched an ambitious five-year strategic plan to develop farming and push the agriculture sector to modernise, become more competitive and resilient to climate change and, in particular, to move on from labour-intensive traditional practices. The plan for 2019 and 2023 reflects government policy on developing agriculture alongside the ongoing development of society and the economy in Cambodia. Veng Sakhon, minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, said at the launch ceremony that the strategy provides an important roadmap to enhance farming and its products and the way they are delivered to consumers. (Dec 26, 2019 | Khmer time)

REAL ESTATE AND CONSTRUCTION| Is Cambodian Infrastructure Ready For Real Estate In 2020?

The 2019 real estate market in Cambodia has been growing due to increasing demand from both local and international buyers across different property types. Will 2020 be more of the same? Industry insiders have mixed answers. Po Eav Kong, CEO of Advance Real Estate, expressed that the property sector in Cambodia will grow in 2020 with some reservations due to recent events. He explains, “2020 will be a good year for real estate. The government has doubled the approved projects and this will lead to stronger construction activity in the following years.” Though he added that, “It’s rather unfortunate that the ban on online gaming has resulted in the slowdown of the real estate market in Sihanoukville” (Dec 25, 2019| Khmer Times)

REAL ESTATE AND CONSTRUCTION| New Study On Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway

The China Railway Corporation is conducting a feasibility study on the construction of an expressway linking the capital with Bavet, in the border with Vietnam, according to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport. The study will take eight months to complete, Minister of Public Works Sun Chanthol said last week. He said the ministry and the company have signed an agreement on the study recently. This will be the second study on an expressway between Phnom Penh and Svay Rieng province’s Bavet. The first one was conducted by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The recently-announced study will look further into whether the project is feasible and cost-effective. It will be submitted to the government who will use it to decide whether or not to allow the investment, Mr Chanthol said on Friday during a visit to the Bavet International Border Gate. (Dec 23, 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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