ECONOMICS - History

ECONOMICS - History


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Cambodia has experienced strong economic growth over the last decade; GDP grew at an average annual rate of over 8% between 2000 and 2010 and about 7% since 2011. The tourism, garment, construction and real estate, and agriculture sectors accounted for the bulk of growth. Around 700,000 people, the majority of whom are women, are employed in the garment and footwear sector. An additional 500,000 Cambodians are employed in the tourism sector, and a further 200,000 people in construction. Tourism has continued to grow rapidly with foreign arrivals exceeding 2 million per year in 2007 and reaching 5.6 million visitors in 2017. Mining also is attracting some investor interest and the government has touted opportunities for mining bauxite, gold, iron and gems.
Still, Cambodia remains one of the poorest countries in Asia and long-term economic development remains a daunting challenge, inhibited by corruption, limited human resources, high income inequality, and poor job prospects. According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the percentage of the population living in poverty decreased to 13.5% in 2016. More than 50% of the population is less than 25 years old. The population lacks education and productive skills, particularly in the impoverished countryside, which also lacks basic infrastructure.
The World Bank in 2016 formally reclassified Cambodia as a lower middle-income country as a result of continued rapid economic growth over the past several years. Cambodia’s graduation from a low-income country will reduce its eligibility for foreign assistance and will challenge the government to seek new sources of financing. The Cambodian Government has been working with bilateral and multilateral donors, including the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and IMF, to address the country's many pressing needs; more than 20% of the government budget will come from donor assistance in 2018. A major economic challenge for Cambodia over the next decade will be fashioning an economic environment in which the private sector can create enough jobs to handle Cambodia's demographic imbalance.
Textile exports, which accounted for 68% of total exports in 2017, have driven much of Cambodia’s growth over the past several years. The textile sector relies on exports to the United States and European Union, and Cambodia’s dependence on its comparative advantage in textile production is a key vulnerability for the economy, especially because Cambodia has continued to run a current account deficit above 9% of GDP since 2014.

1990200020102016
GNI, Atlas method (current US$) (billions)..3.6610.719.73
GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$)..3007501,230
GNI, PPP (current international $) (billions)..12.8233.7560.12
GNI per capita, PPP (current international $)..1,0502,3603,760
GDP (current US$) (billions)2.533.6811.2422.16
GDP growth (annual %)..10.766.8
Inflation, GDP deflator (annual %)..-4.33.13.4
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added (% of GDP)45363423
Industry (including construction), value added (% of GDP)13222231
Exports of goods and services (% of GDP)16505461
Imports of goods and services (% of GDP)33616064
Gross capital formation (% of GDP)12171723
Revenue, excluding grants (% of GDP)..10.311.517.4
Net lending (+) / net borrowing (-) (% of GDP)..-3.4-3.5-0.4
States and markets
Time required to start a business (days)..9510299
Domestic credit provided by financial sector (% of GDP)56.422.774.4
Tax revenue (% of GDP)..8.21015.3
Military expenditure (% of GDP)2.12.21.52.1
Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people)01.157116
Individuals using the Internet (% of population)001.334
High-technology exports (% of manufactured exports)..000
Statistical Capacity score (Overall average)....7363
Global links
Merchandise trade (% of GDP)3090106117
Net barter terms of trade index (2000 = 100)..1007477
External debt stocks, total (DOD, current US$) (millions)1031,9463,68510,230
Total debt service (% of exports of goods, services and primary income)3.80.71.16
Net migration (thousands)409-35-150-150
Personal remittances, received (current US$) (millions)9103153386
Foreign direct investment, net inflows (BoP, current US$) (millions)331181,3422,287
Net official development assistance received (current US$) (millions)41.3396.4734729.4

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