PHNOM PENH, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian government officials have rebuffed a gloomy economic forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), saying the Kingdom's predicted growth slowdown would not be as dire as the world body suggests, national media reported Monday.
At the culmination of a two-week mission Friday, the IMF announced that lower foreign investment, as well as runoff effects from the global financial crisis, would push Cambodia's economic growth down to 4.8 percent in 2009, from a previously predicted rate of nine percent.
But in a prepared speech Sunday for the 55th anniversary of Independence Day, Prime Minister Hun Sen said he was confident the government's strong economic record protected it against such a depreciative outlook, according to the Phnom Penh Post.
"During the last four years, Cambodia has maintained an economic growth of two digits," he was quoted as saying.
"In the fourth mandate, the government will ensure the achievement of economic growth of around seven percent a year and pull down the inflation rate to one digit," he added.
Cambodian Finance Minister Keat Chhon told the Post last week that economic growth would be no lower than 6.5 percent for 2009.