The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 531
“Phnom Penh: Mr. Joseph Stiglitz, an economic expert and Economic Nobel Prize Winner, said that Cambodia may be hurt while the United States [US] economy declines.
“He said at the United Nations Development Program office on 25 October that due to an economic decline, approximately 1.7 million US citizens have lost their houses, because they cannot repay loaned money back to the banks.
“He stated, ‘If the income of US citizens goes down, the import of products from other countries goes also down. And US lawmakers may also start to consider new laws to protect their domestic products.’
“So far, the US has been the biggest market for Cambodian garment products in the range of exports worth approximately more than $2 billion per year.
“According to the Chinese Xinhua news agency which quoted the speech of an official of the Ministry of Commerce, in five months of 2007, the worth of garment export from Cambodia to the US resulted in about $984.9 million for Cambodia.
“Concerning the situation in Cambodia, that approximately more than 80% of the citizens are farmers, the economist urged Cambodia to try to strongly promote agriculture, because agriculture is the main strength of the Cambodian economy.
“He continued, ‘Cambodia should improve agriculture so that it becomes a potential for the economy.’
“He stated that agriculture is also a field that can lead to exports, if Cambodia achieves the necessary standards; and in order to make this field work so that Cambodia can export, Cambodia has to improve the provision of credit financings, increase services for the promotion of improved techniques, and promote investments in infrastructure which will serve this field.
“Mr. Joseph Stiglitz is an economist who got the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2001. He visited Cambodia for two days on 24-25 October.
“During the visit to Cambodia, he met and discussed with Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen, parliamentarians, senators, development partners, and many civil society organizations.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4420, 26.10.2007