PHNOM PENH, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's near-term economic outlook remains positive with gross domestic product (GDP) growth expected at around 7 percent in 2018, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a press release on Sunday.
"Cambodia's economy continues to grow at around 7 percent, supported by higher public spending and robust construction and tourism activity," Jarkko Turunen, who led an IMF team to visit Cambodia from March 12 to 16, said in the release.
"Cambodia's economic outlook remains positive, but is subject to downside risks. Macro-financial and external risks remain significant, and political uncertainties could dampen consumer and investor sentiment," he said. "On the upside, stronger global growth may increase foreign demand for goods exports and tourism."
Turunen said policies should focus on managing macro-financial risks, safeguarding fiscal sustainability and advancing reforms to support growth, resilience and inclusion.
He said bank credit growth has moderated somewhat to 17.2 percent in January 2018, but credit growth to real estate and construction related activities continues to grow at a higher pace than credit to other sectors.
Turunen added that Cambodia's public external debt remained relatively low at 6.67 billion U.S. dollars, about 30 percent of GDP, at end-2017.