Local paper highlights Top 10 Economic News of Cambodia in 2007
By Xia Lin
PHNOM PENH, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Major local Chinese-language newspaper the Commercial News here on Monday highlighted the Top 10 Economic News of Cambodia in 2007 and outlined the robust pulse of the kingdom's economic vibration.
On top of the chart was the signing of the single visa agreement between Cambodia and Thailand on Dec. 17, which allowed foreign tourists from a third country to visit the two countries with a single visa and thus promoted more foreign tourists to visit both countries.
Second, Cambodia re-opened its Sihanoukville International airport on Jan. 15, after more than 20 years of hiatus, in order to perfect its air traffic network and attract more travelers to the seaport city.
Third, the kingdom started to construct its National Road No. 8on March 15, which, upon its completion, will improve the country's road network and provide more choices for its outgoing people.
Fourth, the National Assembly on Dec. 3 approved the government accounts settlement for 2005, which had 89.2 million U.S. dollars in surplus and confirmed its successful economic reform.
Fifth, the Special Economic Zone of Sihanoukville began to be constructed in 2007 with the participation of Chinese investors. The project aimed to provide full-scale business service for export-oriented factories and companies.
Sixth, real estate prices in Phnom Penh surged drastically in 2007, as it inhabitants increased by 3.2 percent on annual basis and foreign investment rushed in to share the country's foreseeable economic boom in the near future.
Seventh, Cambodian has become the sixth largest garment exporter in the world. The industry created job opportunities for about 0.5 million Cambodians and generated some 0.3 billion U.S. dollars of monthly payment for the employees.
Eighth, maiden direct flight between Europe and Cambodia was made on Dec. 7, which would bring more tourists to the kingdom.
Ninth, agricultural exports flourished in 2007, as palm oil, peanuts, rice, pepper and other rural products became ever more popular in the international markets.
Finally, luxury real estate project the Longqing Resort in Kandal province was demolished on July 31, as it expanded its land illegally and in effect constituted menace to the safety of the capital city.
Earlier in November, the Asia Development Bank put Cambodia's economic growth rate for the current year at 9.5 percent and nine percent in 2008, while the Cambodian government gave a conservative estimation of seven percent both in 2007 and 2008.
In addition, the latest World Bank (WB) East Asia and Pacific Update said in November that despite slight decline, Cambodia's economic outlook for 2008 will remain strong overall, with its growth rate dropping from 9.5 percent in 2007 to 7.5 percent in 2008.
According to official figures, the economic growth rate of the kingdom in the past three years averaged 11 percent, by which the government said that macro-economic stability has been realized out of decades of war and turmoil.