China's optimized pandemic strategy to boost tourism, economy in Cambodia, world: officials

PHNOM PENH, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) - China's optimization of its COVID-19 strategy early this month could boost tourism and economic growth in Cambodia and the rest of the world, officials said here on Wednesday.

Photo taken on Jan. 18, 2022 shows Bayon temple in Siem Reap province, Cambodia. (Photo: Xinhua)

"China's reopening could give a boost to global tourism and economic recovery," Cambodian Economy and Finance Ministry's Standing Secretary of State Vongsey Vissoth said at a forum on Cambodia's economic outlook for 2023.

Kruy Narin, deputy director of the General Department of Policy at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, said Cambodia was expected to receive a large number of Chinese tourists after China's pandemic strategy optimization.

"China's optimization of its COVID-19 strategy could drive our tourism growth, our export growth to China, and inflows of Chinese investments into Cambodia," she said at the forum.

Narin said Cambodia's economy is forecast to grow by 5.6 percent in 2023, up from 5.2 percent in 2022, supported by the garment and non-garment manufacturing sectors, agriculture, and tourism.

"This year, our manufacturing sector is projected to grow by 5.5 percent, agriculture is forecast to increase by 1.1 percent, and tourism is expected to see a big jump," she said.

She added that the construction and real estate sector, which is one of the key pillars supporting the economy, will continue to see a sluggish recovery after being severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in the past few years.

Narin said the predicted growth for 2023 remained "high and resilient" despite challenges caused by global uncertainties, rising protectionism and climate change.

She added that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade pact, the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement, and the Cambodia-South Korea Free Trade Agreement would continue to support the kingdom's economic growth in the long term.