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Cambodia aims for 6 pct GDP growth with donor help

In Debt, Economy, Foreign Aid, Poverty on June 1, 2010 by viCheth

PHNOM PENH, May 31 (Reuters) – Cambodia’s parliament approved a five-year plan for the economy on Monday that aims for 6 percent growth a year with the help of about $6 billion from donors, who are meeting in Phnom Penh this week to discuss aid.

Gross domestic product grew 0.1 percent last year, Planning Minister Chhay Than told the National Assembly on Monday, and to achieve the growth target in coming years a total of $6.28 billion would be needed to support development efforts.

Tuon Thavrak, director-general of the planning ministry, told reporters during a break in the session that most of that sum would have to come from aid donors.

“We need about $6 billion, so roughly every year we need about $1.2 billion,” he said. “We have our own money in the national budget, but only about $200 million a year. We need from abroad more than $1.05 billion a year.”

Government ministers will discuss these plans at a meeting with rich country donors and agencies such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank on June 2-3.

Finance Minister Keat Chhon said in a recent speech that donors were expected to give the country $1 billion this year, roughly the same as the $990 million in 2009.

(Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Editing by Alan Raybould)

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