Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Business world stoked for reopening

Business world stoked for reopening

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen made the announcement earlier on November 1 while addressing the public as he declared the closing of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign for people aged 6 and older, and the launch of the jab drive for children aged 5. SPM

Business world stoked for reopening

Economists and the business community on November 1 welcomed the prime minister’s announcement on the reopening of the country in all sectors and resumption of socio-economic activity.

The keenly-awaited move comes after a hiatus of nearly two years due to the spread of Covid-19, and marks a promising new chapter for the Kingdom’s economic momentum to build up a considerable head of steam, they suggest.

Prime Minister Hun Sen made the announcement earlier on November 1 while addressing the public as he declared the closing of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign for people aged 6 and older, and the launch of the jab drive for children aged 5.

Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told The Post that the move would signal a critical turning point as the economy bounces back from the severe turbulence brought by the Covid-19 crisis.

However, he cautioned that an immediate reopening would not yield significant results until mid-2022, or towards end-2022 if no serious headway is made in the next couple of months.

“Our Cambodian economy will gradually recover, and these steps will bear fruit in 2022. If we start sowing seeds now, they will pay off in spades by mid-2022. Expectations for Cambodia’s gross domestic product [GDP] and macroeconomic growth will remain buoyant,” he said.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng underlined that the reopening was eagerly-anticipated not only by business players of all scale, but by government officials.

He told The Post that the move demonstrates the extent of the government’s control over the coronavirus epidemic, which he attributed in part to the relative success of nationwide Covid-19 vaccination campaigns.

Heng explained that the latest outbreak of Covid-19 – first detected on February 20 – and subsequent lockdowns seriously dented business and state revenues, saying tax collection would improve as the economy recovers.

As socio-economic activity picks up, foreign investors will gain renewed confidence and return to the Cambodian market in all sectors, where they can benefit from the recently-promulgated investment law, he asserted.

“This will offer internal and external perks, and is marvellous news that could pique the interests of investors in the ASEAN region and around the world towards investing in the Kingdom,” Heng said.

According to Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth, the government has revised its economic growth forecast for 2021 to 2.4 per cent, down from 4.0 per cent at the beginning of the year, after a 3.1 per cent contraction in 2020.

He has also pegged Cambodia’s economic growth at 4.8 per cent for 2022, saying that the coronavirus outbreak has eased after widespread vaccination, ushering in the emergence of a ‘new normal’.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,