The Ministry of Economy and Finance on February 14 allocated $100 million to two state-owned banks to provide additional support to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME), and the agriculture and agro-industry sectors.
The Small and Medium Enterprise Bank of Cambodia Plc (SME Bank) and Agricultural and Rural Development Bank of Cambodia (ARDB) have each received an extra $50 million, Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth told the ceremony formally marking the allocation of the funds.
He said the package will support economic recovery in the post-Covid era, and help advance “The Strategic Framework and Programmes for Economic Recovery in the Context of Living with Covid-19 in a New Normal 2021-2023”, a comprehensive road map recently rolled out by the government.
Much like in every country, the Covid-19 crisis has severely affected Cambodia and dragged down socio-economic and public health development, the minister said.
And with key sectors such as tourism, construction and real estate in doldrums, the Cambodian economy contracted 3.1 per cent in 2020, he said, adding that SMEs and other enterprises engaged in services also suffered greatly.
Despite this, the agricultural sector maintained positive growth, he pointed out.
The economy is expected to have recovered slightly last year, at around three per cent, buoyed by the broad resumption of socio-economic activities in the fourth quarter, various government intervention policies and improvements in the global economy, he said.
However, a resurgence in Covid-19 transmission driven by the Omicron coronavirus variant poses fresh challenges that could impede recoveries in trade and business activities, and stoke new public fears, he added.
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Author: Nov Sivutha
Source: The Phnom Penh Post
Publication date: 14 February 2022