National Workshop on Resource Mobilization for Sustainable Development
To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, least developed countries (LDCs) in Asia and the Pacific need to invest on average an additional 16 per cent of their GDP per year relative to their current investment levels. This is much higher than for the rest of the countries in the region, which require on average an additional 5 per cent of GDP per year, or $1.5 trillion per year. Of the total financing gap in LDCs, more than two thirds are due to investments “in people”, i.e. ending poverty and hunger and providing for health and education. A further $2 billion per year is needed to provide sustainable infrastructure, particularly to build, maintain and improve access to climate-resilient infrastructure in areas such as transport, electricity, information communication technology and water and sanitation.
To support LDCs address such challenges, UN-ESCAP has been undertaking a number of initiatives. Amongst these, UN-ESCAP started implementing a project in 2018 to support the Countries with Special Needs in Asia-Pacific in resource mobilization for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The project aims to strengthen the capacity of policymakers in selected countries with special needs in the Asia-Pacific region, to effectively allocate and utilize existing financial resources and mobilize additional financing to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At national level the main beneficiary countries of the project are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Tajikistan and Vanuatu. However, there are also country groupings-specific activities for LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS, and policymakers from all CSN countries are invited to meetings pertaining to those country groupings-specific activities.
After initial analyses relating to Cambodia, a national workshop was held in Phnom Penh in 2018, where it was recognized that Cambodia has achieved macroeconomic stability with a sustained rate of growth of output averaging 7%. In addition, revenue collection has improved significantly, from 10% of GDP in 2010 to 15.8% in 2017, while and exports increased from 54% of GDP in 2010 to 61.6% in 2018.
However, Cambodia’s economy still faces challenges, including the need to accelerate MSMEs development, further improve tax mobilization and increased spending efficiency at the municipal level. The Government of Cambodia has an important role to play in supporting SMEs both directly and indirectly by creating an environment supportive for them to grow. At the workshop, officials highlighted that the government intends to create a bank dedicate to SMEs as well as establish an Entrepreneurs Fund.