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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Cambodia's inflation hits record 22 percent

PHNOM PENH (AFP) — Cambodia's inflation hit a record high of 22 percent in July, a government minister said Tuesday.

Planning Minister Chhay Than said high global prices of oil and food were to blame for the soaring rate.

"For July, the inflation rate was 22 percent. We can say that this is a record high," Chhay Than told AFP.

"The inflation is caused by outside factors... the prices of oil, fuel and foods... the slowdown in the US economy," he said.

"But if we compare with some neighbouring countries, it is not so high," Chhay Than added.

The last published consumer price index (CPI) for January showed that inflation had reached 18.7 percent.

The government then stopped releasing monthly CPI reports in a move widely seen as an effort to hide spiralling consumer costs ahead of July elections, in which Prime Minister Hun Sen's ruling party stormed to victory.

Officials denied that claim, saying there had been a disagreement over how to calculate the figure.

The government has now said it will resume publication of inflation figures later this week.

Cambodia in May doubled reserve requirements for private banks from 8.0 percent to 16.0 percent in a bid to curb money supply and stem rising inflation. The requirements took effect from July.
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UN meets on helping poorest countries to boost industrial capacity

Officials from the UN and donor countries assembled in Kigali, the Rwandan capital, on Monday to discuss how to help the world's least developed countries (LDCs) to build up their capacity in the fields of trade and industrial development.

The two-day workshop that began Monday was organized by the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in close collaboration with the World Trade Organization (WTO), a UN press release said.

It focuses on turning Aid-for-Trade (AFT), the WTO initiative which aims to scale up international financial assistance for building up trade capacity in developing countries, into concrete actions, specifically to boost industrial development in the LDCs.

While many LDCs have experienced high rates of growth in recent years, they still face many constraints which hinder their efforts to transform their economies and integrate into the global economy.

Participants will have the opportunity to discuss different areas of support provided by UNIDO, such as agribusiness and private sector development, as well as pilot programs in Benin, Cambodia, Rwanda and Yemen, among others.

Donors, UN agencies and financial institutions will be able to showcase their assistance to the LDCs. The outcome of the meeting will serve as input for the Conference of the Ministers of Industry from the LDCs, scheduled to be held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in November.

Source:Xinhua
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