Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to grow stronger this year, says Thai bank

The Economic Intelligence Centre of the Siam Commercial Bank forecasts the CLMV countries, namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, will gain a stronger growth momentum in 2023, but remain below its growth potential prior to the COVID-19 outbreaks.

The rebound will be uneven across countries, depending on economic fundamentals and country-specific risks, the centre said in its February 1 report.

SCB EIC expects that the Cambodian economy will grow 5.5% this year, 3.0% in Laos and Myanmar, and 6.2% in Vietnam.

According to the report, domestic demand and tourism will be key drivers for CLMV economic recovery in 2023.

Domestic demand will gain support from improvements in the labour market, as seen in Vietnam’s Q4/22 employment soaring to its highest level since the COVID-19 outbreaks. Meanwhile, the service sector will benefit from rising tourist arrivals this year, particularly Chinese visitors who made up about 30-35% of total foreign tourists in 2019.

China has authorised outbound group tours traveling to Cambodia and Laos starting from February 6, 2023, and is expected to add more destinations to the list soon. In particular, Cambodia and Vietnam are poised to benefit the most from tourism rebound, considering the high contribution of tourism (both domestic and foreign) to GDP at 18.2% and 9.8%, respectively. VNA