Phnom Penh (FN), Jun. 22 – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Monday that Cambodian economy in 2020 is suffering an unprecedented decrease at a rate of negative 1.9 percent for the first time over the past 20 years, addressing at the construction site of the new international airport located in Kandal province.

He added that in 2020, few countries are expected to experience a positive economy growth, while other countries forecasted negative economic growth, for example, Singapore’s economy is forecasted to negative 7 percent.

“Some countries have declared that their economy will be dropped, for instance, Singapore’s economy expects to drop to negative 7 percent while some countries negative 10 percent. However, the IMF and the World Bank forecasted that Cambodian economy may fall within the range of negative 1.5 percent to negative 2.9 percent, which is an unprecedented decline over the past 20 years,” the premier stated.

According to Prime Minister Hun Sen, Cambodia achieved the highest growth rate of 13.3 percent in 2005, then fell to 12 percent in 2006, to 11 percent in 2007, to 6.9 percent in 2008, and 0.5 percent in 2009, yet it did not affect Cambodia’s macroeconomic management.

Responding to the question of whether there should be a new airport construction amidst Covid-19 crisis, the premier said that no companies in Cambodia have declared bankruptcy nor insufficient funds for investment.

The World Bank forecasted that the Kingdom’s economy in 2020 is expected to register its slowest growth since 1994, contracting by between -1 percent and -2.9 percent, according to Cambodia in the Time of COVID-19, the World Bank’s latest Economic Update for Cambodia released on 29 May 2020.

However, a growth forecast for 2021 expects to bounce back at 3.5 percent, driven by the expected slowdown in economic activity, especially the weakened external demand and domestic market confidence.