UNDP Regional Director stresses improving equality for Cambodia’s growth
PHNOM PENH, 1 May 2014 – As it inches closer to lower middle-income country status, Cambodia should make sure its future growth is both inclusive and sustainable, and that it contributes to reducing, rather than increasing, inequality, said Mr. Haoliang Xu, UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific.
Mr. Xu made the comment as he wrapped up his five-day visit to Cambodia, which started on 27 April. He met with Cambodia’s Prime Minister, Samdech Hun Sen and other high-ranking government leaders to discuss a wide range of issues of strategic importance for Cambodia’s development.
The Assistant Secretary-General took note of the remarkable progress Cambodia has made in reducing poverty and the effort to realize national targets in Cambodia Millennium Development Goals. The poverty rate has been substantially reduced – to 19.8 percent from 47.8 percent about a decade ago. The economy has maintained steady growth, reaching a six year high of 7.2 percent last year. The launch of the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015 will present new opportunities as well as challenges for Cambodia, he said.
“The achievements are truly commendable, yet much remains to be done to ensure that growth will be inclusive and sustainable,” Mr. Xu said.
“Historical experience has shown that transition into Middle-Income Country (MIC) status tends to be accompanied by rising inequalities, socio-economic exclusion and increasing degradation of the environment and natural resources,” he said.