Economy in Cambodia

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Economy—overview: After four years of solid macroeconomic performance Cambodia's economy slowed dramatically in 1997 due to the twin shocks of the regional economic crisis and the July violence and political infighting. Economic growth fell from 6.5% in 1996 to 1.5% in 1997 foreign investment slowed and tourism declined 16% from 1996 levels. Despite these difficulties inflation accelerated only slightly to 9.5%; the government managed to keep the national budget in balance even with increased expenditures on the military and police; and the economy ran a small balance of payments surplus. The future payments could be adversely affected by the currency crises in Thailand Malaysia and Indonesia which tends to make Cambodia's exports more expensive at the same time imports from these countries become cheaper. The long-term development of the economy after decades of war remains a daunting challenge. Human resource levels in the population are low particularly in the poverty-ridden countryside. The almost total lack of basic infrastructure in the countryside will continue to hinder development. Recurring political instability hinders foreign investment. Corruption and inexperience among Cambodia's government officials will serve as a further drag on the economy.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$7.7 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 1.5% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$715 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 47.3%

industry: 15.4%

services: 37.3% (1996 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 9.5% (1997 est.)

Labor force: 2.5 million to 3 million

by occupation: agriculture 80% (1997 est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%


revenues: $261 million

expenditures: $496 million including capital expenditures of $NA (1995 est.)

Industries: rice milling fishing wood and wood products rubber cement gem mining textiles

Industrial production growth rate: 7% (1995 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 35 000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 190 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 18 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: rice rubber corn vegetables


total value: $615 million (1996 est.)

commodities: timber garments rubber soybeans sesame

partners: Singapore Japan Thailand Hong Kong Indonesia Malaysia US


total value: $1 billion (1996 est.)

commodities: cigarettes construction materials petroleum products machinery motor vehicles

partners: Singapore Vietnam Japan Australia Hong Kong Indonesia

Debt—external: $2.2 billion (1996 est.)

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA $NA

note: international donors pledged a total of $1.8 billion in 1995 and 1996

Currency: 1 new riel (CR) = 100 sen

Exchange rates: riels (CR) per US$1—3 537.0 (January 1998) 2 946.3 (1997) 2 624.1 (1996) 2 450.8 (1995) 2 545.3 (1994) 2 689.0 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year

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