Phnom Penh (FN), Oct. 6 – Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen said that in each phase of the Rectangular Strategy, the Royal Government has identified “People” as the top priority, by focusing on human resource development, job creation and poverty reduction.

The premier spoke at the opening of Cambodia Outlook Conference 2022 under a theme “Revitalising Cambodia: Sustaining Development after COVID19”, held on Thursday (Oct 6) in Phnom Penh.

“The Royal Government has already adopted four phases of the Rectangular Strategy. In each phase, the RGC always identifies "People" as one of the four priorities, namely Road, Water, Electricity and People. Particularly, from the third phase onward, the Royal Government has identified "People" as the top priority, by focusing on human resource development, job creation and poverty reduction,” the premier underscored.

In fact, Cambodia has created jobs for millions of people, especially in the garment and footwear sector, agriculture and tourism, which have contributed in reducing remarkably poverty from 53.2% in 2004 to just 17.8% in 2020. At the same time, over the last two decades before COVID19, Cambodia has achieved a growth rate of more than 7% per year, which has changed the status of Cambodia from a least developed country (LDC) to a lower-middle income country in 2015.

With these magnificent achievements, the Royal Government has set its visions of turning Cambodia into an upper middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050. Nevertheless, in the last few years, with the spread of COVID19, the journey towards these visions may be hampered. Indeed, in 2020, this deadly disease caused Cambodia's economy to decline into the negative territory by 3.1%, which was the first negative growth over the last two decades.

In response, in addition to health measures, the RGC introduced a series of socio economic intervention measures to stabilize the livelihoods of workers as well as poor and vulnerable families. Concurrently, the RGC mobilized all national forces to launch the National Vaccination Campaign and built a strong herd immunity throughout the country.

This achievement has allowed Cambodia to reopen the country fully and safely in all fields since 1 November 2021 until today, and has made Cambodia's economy recover gradually with resilience and strength. As a result, Cambodia's economy grows at a positive rate of 3% in 2021, and the Ministry of Economy and Finance has forecasted that Cambodia's economy will likely continue to grow around 5% and 6% in 2022 and 2023, respectively.