Beyond “Developing Nation:” Kingdom Aims for High-Income Economy by 2050

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The Ministry of Planning shared online that they have resumed drafting the master plan on Cambodia-Vietnam economic connection, which underscores becoming a high middle-income country by 2030, and a high-income country by 2050. 

Under the authority of both governments and the cooperation of the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Development Triangle Area (CLV-DTA), the master plan is set to be completed within this year. 

Its purpose is to facilitate the ultimate goal of becoming a high-income country, in trend with great leaps of development the Kingdom has made over the past decade. 

Though its economy contracted by 3.1% in 2020 due to the pandemic, rapid government response gave way to a 5.5% growth forecast in 2022, said the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The ADB’s lending pipeline for 2021-2023 also includes $1.35 billion of concessional lending, and $32.4 million in grants to support both Cambodia’s covid-19 recovery and continuous economic development. 

Also in the works are trade agreements with other countries, including its neighbors in the CLV-DTA, and intensifying agricultural export and industrial growth to boost these core sectors. According to Veung Naron, researcher at the Cambodia Development Resource Institute, Cambodia will need to augment its shortage of high-skilled workers to achieve the goal of become competitive in the global market through industrial development. 

Already, Naron pointed out, there have been success stories within the Kingdom such as at the Kirirom Institute of Technology, which offers an AI and software engineering program that is the “best in the country” and includes linkages with technology companies for students to gain real-life work experiences. 

He also pointed out the “teaching factory” concept that is already being used in some of the country’s industrial parks, which combine work and school environments and integrate elements of industrial manufacturing into the classroom.

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