PHNOM PENH, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia has lowered its economic growth projection for 2022 to 5.4 percent, down from its earlier forecast of 5.6 percent, due to the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, a senior official said here on Tuesday.
Ministry of Economy and Finance spokesperson Meas Soksensan said economic growth in the Southeast Asian country would slow down to 5.4 percent this year, with the gross domestic product (GDP) expected to total about 30 billion U.S. dollars.
"The Russia-Ukraine conflict has led to a rise in the prices of all kinds of goods, especially petroleum products and agricultural raw materials including fertilizers and pesticides," he said in a press conference.
"Overall, rising prices have affected domestic spending and consumption as well as people's livelihoods," he added.
The kingdom's economy growth is mainly supported by garment, footwear and travel goods exports, and the tourism, construction, and agriculture sectors.
Soksensan said that for 2022, the industrial sector, mainly garment and construction, is projected to grow by 9 percent, service sector (tourism, transport and telecom, trade and real estate) is expected to increase by 4.3 percent and agriculture by 0.7 percent.
The country's inflation is expected to rise to 5 percent this year, up from the earlier forecast of 3 percent, he said, adding that however, inflation is at a controllable level.
The spokesperson also said that the government has reserved a stimulus package worth 989 million U.S. dollars for 2022 to deal with economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Soksensan highlighted Cambodia's public debt, saying that the kingdom's total public debt stock is currently at 9.81 billion U.S. dollars, with 68 percent from bilateral developing partners (DPs) and 32 percent from multilateral DPs.
"Our total external debt is now at between 33 percent and 35 percent of the GDP, which is still lower than the threshold of 40 percent," he said. ■