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Investing in public infrastructure, services key to boost Cambodia's economy: WB

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-17 13:41:14|Editor: Liangyu
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PHNOM PENH, May 17 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank said on Wednesday that investing in key public goods and services such as infrastructure, health and education is fundamental for economic growth in Cambodia.

"Investing in infrastructure is necessary for any economy to function effectively," said the World Bank's Economic Update report for Cambodia.

"An increase in public infrastructure spending, physical capital, affects output both in the short term, by boosting aggregate demand, and in the long term, by expanding the productive capacity of the economy and its competitiveness," the report said.

It added that investing in public health can be cost-effective and gives higher returns on human health and services financing.

The report continued to say that funding education builds human capital, contributing to long-term economic benefits by providing a better-trained labor force.

"Through the provision of both social and economic infrastructure, public expenditure in the key sectors can serve as an important catalyst for economic growth," it said.

It is estimated that the Southeast Asian country needs about 600 million U.S. dollars in infrastructure development and logistic networks annually to maintain the momentum of economic development and enhance its competitiveness.

According to the report, the World Bank said Cambodia's economic growth remained strong, projected to reach 6.9 percent in 2017 and 2018, driven by rising government spending, garment export, construction, agriculture, and tourism.

"It is encouraging to see that Cambodia's economic growth will continue to be strong in the next few years," Inguna Dobraja, the World Bank Country Manager for Cambodia Office, said during the release of the report in Phnom Penh.