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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
The rapid spread of the virus in Cambodia during 2021 has set the economy back again, after external demand collapsed in 2020. The authorities responded to the crisis with measures to support households and firms, including increased healthcare spending; a new system of cash transfers to vulnerable households; loans and guarantees; tax breaks; and wage subsidies and retraining. Despite these measures, growth is estimated to have contracted by -3.1 percent in 2020. Growth in 2021 is expected to be 2.2 percent, slowly recovering to pre-crisis rates of around 6½ percent.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
The A remote technical assistance (TA) mission to the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) was conducted during ten days over the period of August 31–November 30, 2020.1 This activity was part of Cambodia’s participation in the Japan-funded Government Finance Statistics (GFS) and Public Sector Debt Statistics (PSDS) Project for selected Asian countries (JSA3)2. The overall goal of the JSA3 Project is to assist the MEF in strengthening compilation and dissemination of fiscal data in line with the GFS Manual 2014 and the PSDS: Guide for Compilers and Users to support macro-fiscal surveillance and decision making. The mission liaised with Mr. Alexandros Mourmouras, Director of the Capacity Development Office in Thailand (CDOT), Mr. Rifaat Basanti, the IMF Regional JSA3 GFS/PSDS Project Manager, Mr. Suhas Joshi, the IMF Regional Treasury Advisor—both in the CDOT, Mr. Yasuhisa Ojima, the IMF’s Resident Representative for Cambodia, and Ms. Magdalena Tomczynska-Smith, the IMF’s Budget Planning Advisor for Cambodia. The mission would like to thank the authorities for their excellent collaboration and support (Appendix I lists the main official contacts).
Dyna Heng, Serey Chea, and Bomakara Heng
Interest rate caps, despite their intended objective of broadening financial inclusion, can have undesirable effects on financial inclusion under certain conditions. This paper examines the effect of microfinance-loan interest rate caps on financial inclusion in Cambodia. Based on a difference-in-difference analysis on bank and microfinance supervisory data, results show some unintended impact on financial inclusion. The cap led to a significant increase in non-interest fees charged on new loans following the introduction of an annual cap. Microfinance borrowers declined immediately, amid an increase in credit growth, as microfinance institutions targeted larger borrowers at the expense of smaller ones. Microfinance institutions, responded differently to the cap, considering their own operation and funding costs, and client base. Two years after the cap, institutions resumed lending to a wider group of borrowers with lower funding and operation costs brought by mobile payment development.
Ms. Dora Benedek, Mr. Edward R Gemayel, Mr. Abdelhak S Senhadji, and Alexander F. Tieman
The COVID-19 pandemic hit countries’ development agendas hard. The ensuing recession has pushed millions into extreme poverty and has shrunk government resources available for spending on achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This Staff Discussion Note assesses the current state of play on funding SDGs in five key development areas: education, health, roads, electricity, and water and sanitation, using a newly developed dynamic macroeconomic framework.