GDP per Capita Tipped to Pass $2,000

This photo taken on Jan. 1. 2024 shows people buying vegetable at a market in Phnom Penh. Photo: ThmeyThmey

PHNOM PENH – The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita has been estimated to increase by eight percent this year, to $2,071 from $1,917 last year. 

Economic growth is also projected to reach 6.6 percent, increasing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 142,957 million riel (about $35 billion), according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s Budget in Brief, Fiscal Year 2024. 

Chheng Kimlong, an economic analyst and the director of the Centre for Governance Innovation and Democracy at the Asian Vision Institute, said the increase reflects the country’s economic recovery through domestic revenue resources which come from taxes and customs. 

The projection was conducted with credible examination and study, based on the real situation of people’s economy and incomes. Investments have been increasing productivity in agricultural, industrial and service sectors. 

“Especially, the tourism sector is recovering, and the number of tourists is also increasing. Therefore, the economy is also on the rise, boosting the GDP per capita to over $2,000 in 2024,” he said. 

Hong Vannak, an economic researcher at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, agreed that the projection was based on the practical situation of people’s lives. 

The growth comes from the increase in important sectors, including economic, agricultural, industrial, tourism, investment, and infrastructure sectors within tourism destinations. 

“One factor is the rise of the country's trade with major countries, especially with China, the US and Vietnam which were the biggest trading partners last year,” he said. 

“The industrial and agricultural products have been going well for exports. The investment sector, however, is going a little bit slow, but it's still moving. 

“Economic ties with superpowers and other trading partners, including European countries, are also on a good track.

"We've clearly seen the increase of tourists in Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk, and even in Phnom Penh," he said, adding that the tourism and agricultural sectors will grow even more. These were the factors contributing to growth in 2024. 

Both analysts were optimistic about the recovering economy’s contribution to the per capita increase in accordance with the government’s vision in moving towards upper-middle-income status by 2030 and becoming higher-income by 2050. 

According to the Tourism Ministry, 4.92 million tourists visited Cambodia in the first 11 months of 2023. While it is significantly better than 2022, such data also indicates the tourism industry is catching up with its pre-pandemic standards. In 2019, 5.9 million tourists visited Cambodia over the same period.

In 2023, the trade volume with important partners reached $46.82 billion with exports worth $22.64 billion – up 1.8 percent on the 2022 figure. 

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