Phnom Penh, Oct 6 (IANS): Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said on Thursday that the COVID-19 pandemic may hinder Cambodia's ambitious journey toward an upper-middle income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050.
"In the last few years, with the spread of COVID-19, the journey toward these visions may be hampered," he said during the opening ceremony of the 2022 Cambodia Outlook Conference, Xinhua news agency reported.
He said in 2020, this deadly disease caused Cambodia's economy to decline into the negative territory by 3.1 percent, which was the first negative growth over the last two decades.
In response, in addition to health measures, Hun Sen said the government launched the National Vaccination Campaign and built a strong herd immunity throughout the country.
"This achievement has allowed Cambodia to reopen the country fully and safely in all fields since Nov. 1, 2021, until today, and has made Cambodia's economy recover gradually with resilience and strength," he said.
"As a result, Cambodia's economy grew at a positive rate of 3 percent in 2021 ... and will likely continue to grow around 5 percent and 6 percent in 2022 and 2023, respectively," he added.
Hun Sen said that to sustain the economy in the long run, the government will further invest in the fields of healthcare, social protection, human resource development, small and medium enterprises, digital technology, and green development, among others.