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Cambodia's economy grew 7.3% in 2012: PM

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Cambodia's economic growth accelerated to 7.3 percent last year thanks to buoyant activity in the agricultural, tourism and garment sectors, Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Wednesday.

"The outlook for Cambodia is good," he said at a conference in Phnom Penh, forecasting growth of above seven percent in the medium term.

The strong 2012 performance, which was helped by increased exports and a building boom, marked an improvement on the previous year's 7.1 percent growth.

"Although the global economic situation is still uncertain and growth is weaker in Europe and the United States, Cambodia has recovered strongly from the (worldwide) economic crisis," Hun Sen added.

The Southeast Asian nation, written off as a failed state after the devastating 1975-79 Khmer Rouge regime and years of civil war, has mainly used garment exports and tourism to help improve its economy.

That meant it was affected by the economic crisis that hit Western economies from 2007, although it has looked to diversify in recent years.

It remains one of the world's poorer countries, with around a third of its 14 million people living on less than a dollar a day.

The Asian Development Bank in December announced a $525 million aid plan for Cambodia over the next three years to promote economic growth.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130220/cambodias-economy-grew-73-2012-pm