Phnom Penh (VNA) – Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance has forecast that the country’s economy will expand 5.1 percent this year and 6.2 percent in 2023.

The forecast followed the preliminary assessment of the macroeconomic situation of Cambodia by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission in the country, reported Cambodia’s Khmer Times.

Regarding the assessment of the economic and financial situation in the country, Alasdair Scott, the IMF’s mission chief for Cambodia said that the growth will be assisted by the socio-economic recovery, despite some risks such as high inflation, ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war, a slowdown of the Chinese economy, and faster-than-expected tightening monetary policy in developed countries.

At the same time, the Cambodian economy in 2023 is expected to grow higher than the previous forecast at 6.2 percent, mainly thanks to the growth of the tourism sector.

The IMF also urged the government of Cambodia to take timely steps to address the social and economic challenges and prevent the spread of COVID-19. In particular, Cambodia’s successful vaccination campaign should continue.

The working group of the mission also expressed a strong will to support Cambodia in hosting the upcoming ASEAN Summit 2022 and provide further support to the government of Cambodia in terms of technical assistance and policy guidelines.

The Cambodian Government launched a 150 million USD support package to help with the tourism sector's recovery.

In 2019 before the outbreak of COVID-19, tourism contributed about 4.9 billion USD to Cambodia’s total income, accounting for 4.4 percent of the country’s GDP.

In the first four months of 2022, the country saw a 180-percent year on year rise in the number of foreign arrivals to 230,000./.