December 29, 2023
PHNOM PENH – In an effort to allay fears of a debt crisis, Prime Minister Hun Manet assured that Cambodia is safeguarded against any potential debt trap due to stringent annual budget laws that establish a clear debt ceiling.
He emphasised that the Kingdom’s foreign loans are strictly utilised for economic development purposes, aiming to ensure a stable financial future for the nation.
“I wish to remind our citizens, the owners of our country, that managing debt and loans is a collective responsibility, vital for safeguarding our future generations. We are committed to prudent borrowing, well within the limits set by our annual budget laws, ensuring we never reach a debt trap while supporting our economic growth.
“Our approach to borrowing is strategic and targeted, ensuring that loans are allocated to development projects that yield tangible benefits for our economy. We are committed to transparency and judicious spending in every project we undertake,” Manet stated during the December 27 inauguration of the Choeung Ek Sewage Treatment Plant in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district.
The prime minister made the remarks in response to criticisms from Khmer language foreign-based media regarding foreign loans and the construction of the Funan Techo Canal.
“The Funan Techo Canal represents a series of initiatives from countries such as Japan, alongside infrastructure support from China, the Asian Development Bank [ADB] and various other financial institutions,” he explained.
“Coupled with our own budgeted infrastructure developments, all these efforts converge to enhance the nation, uplift our people, bolster the national economy and create a lasting legacy for the generations to come,” he added.
Manet emphasised the necessity for diverse investments in various sectors, acknowledging that the national budget often falls short of covering all expenses.
“First, we seek grants, like for the sewage treatment plant. Secondly, we secure loans with appropriately low interest rates and thirdly, we encourage both local and foreign financers to invest in our country,” explained.
According to the budget law promulgated for 2024, the government