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.., h' 2013
Trowt In
By SIMON LEWIS
THE CAMBODIA DAILY
The World Bank has repeated
, prediction that Cambodia's
onomy will grow by 6.7 per
nt this year.
ill its global economic pros
cts I"eJXlrt, released Tuesday in
ashington, the Bank said that
Cambodia's gross do
estic product (GDP) \0 have
own by 6.6 percent in 2012.
The World Bank also said that.
onomic growth in Cambodia is
timated to reach 7 percent in
,th 2014 and 2015.
"Growth prospects in Cambo
i (aroWld 7 percent) are based
achieving the dividends from
::us on higher rice production,
Jows of [foreign direct invest
::ntl iIlto the growing gannent
Justly and a growing tourism
Justly," the reJXlrt says.
The World Bank estimate for
s year is lower than the Minis
r of Economy and Finance'
ediction of 7 percent GDP
owth in 2013, as seen on the
nistry's website.
Cambodia's trade deficit grew
)m 8.7 percent in 2011 to 10
rcent in 2012 as a proportion of
JP, the World Bank estimated.
It the bank forecast') in the re
,rt that this figure will one
ain drop to 8.7 percent this
ar and be down to 6.7 percent
2015.
The report raises concerns
lt some developing COWltries
th low reserves are exposed to
temal shocks in a volatile glob
::conomy.
Large amoWlts of Cambodia':
rment exports are dependant
turbulent economies in Eu
)e and the u.s.
The report included Cambodia
lOng 30 developing countries
th both a trade deficit and a
vernment budget defici t of
)re than 4 percent of GDP, for
lorn "vulnerabilities are even
)re serious."
In the EastAsia and Pacific re
m, growth "slowed to an esti
lled 7.5 percent in 2012, from
: percent in 2011, largely du
weak external demand and
!icy actions in China to contain
lation," the bank said.
Rice Exports Slow Due to Millers Hoarding
By SUN MESA
AND SrMON LEwIs
THE CAI-ABODIADAllY
Cambodia expolted more than
200,000 tons of milled rice in
2012, the greatest yield 011 record,
though well short of the govern
ment target to export 1 milliou
tons by 2015.
Speaking at the Ministry of Ag
r iculture's annual meeting in
Phnom Penh, Ag.licuJture Minis
ter Chan Sarun said that. the yield
of unprocessed paddy rice in the
2012 to 2013 hruvest season had
grown by roughly 6 percent to
9.31 million tons. up from 8.8 mil
lion tons the previous season.
Milled rice expOIts were "more
than 2OO,(XX)\ons," Mr. Sarun said,
without givingan ex.act1igure. "Our
exports have increased compared
with 2011, but only slightly," he
added, pointing to the widely held
expectation in 2012 1hat the flood
ing of the previous year, which de
stroyed swaths of rice paddy and
berepeated.
In July, Prime Minister Hun
Sen predicted that., as 2012 was
the Chinese year of the dragon,
there would be "big floods."
"All of the rice millers and farm
ers thought that there was a huge
flood coming, so lice millers did
not export because they thought
thatthe pJice ofrice in the.cOlilltty
would be high," Mr. San.m said.
lim Bunheng, chainnan of milled
rice expom Loran Group Fk., said
1hat. hisfirm hadwithheld some rice.
"Vie kept 300 to 400 Ions of rice
paddy for food \0 help the govern
ment in the event of floods, but af
ter seeing no floods. we used that
for export"
Yang Saing Koma, director of
NGO the Cambodian Center for
Study and Development in Agri
cu1t.ure, said the slow progress in
exports of milled rice was more to
do with Cambodia's inexpelience
asariceexporter.
'i t's a big goal, but Cambodia
needs to leam," he said, adding
that more investment in rice mills
and creditforfanners was helping.
Mr. Saing Koma also &'lid that
the price fanners had received for
normal rice, as opposed to the
more expensive fragrant rice, had
fallen this year, from more than
l,CXXl riel, or about $0.25, to only
800 riel, per kg.
However, Mr. Saing Koma said
the drop in price was more likely
due to the intemational rice mar
ket rather than a surplus created by
rice millers hoarding their product
"Nonnally, many Vietnamese
come to buy paddy rice ill Cambo
elia," but last year, Vietnamese ex-
JXllts had fallen as India and Paki
stan upped their output, keeping
prices low globally, he said.
Video Game Combines All the Worlds 'of Disney
By BROOKS BAR.'\'ES
THE NEW YORK TIMES
illS ANG El.ES - Imagine monster
truck tires on Cinderella's caniage.
Or Captain Jack Sparrow being
smacked around by Sulley from
"Monsters Inc. " Maybe Mr. in
credible, armed with a toilet-pa
per-roll lalillcher. tiding in Peter
Pan's ilying pirate ship.
It's all possible, and it's all sanc
tioned by the Walt Disney Com
pany- a company known, at leas
until now, for maintaining rigid
walls between its character and
movie fT"dI1chises.
On Tuesday, Disney Internctive
Studios unveiled "Infinity," an ambi
tious video game and action figure
initiative. "lunl1ity," three years in
the making under the code nalDe
Toy &>x, allows players to mix and
match characters and props froID
Disney andPixar movies, including
the "Pirates of the Cadbbean" se
ries and "TIle Incredibles." Never
before has Disneyallowed this type
ofmash-up.
"If you want Mr. Incredtble rid
ing in Cinderella's coach, go for
it," said John Blackburn, general
manager of Avalanche, a game
development studio owned by
Disney that made "Infinity."
"Jnfinity" is similar to "Skyland
ers," a popular toy and video game
franchise from Activision Blizzard.
"Skylanders" has generated more
than $500 million in sales since its
arrival in 2011; about 30 million
related toys have been sold under
the brand. ''SkyIanders'' players
collect action ligures, tilen trans
fer them into the game's action by
plugging them into a sensor base.
That kind of digital bit is urgently
needed at Disney Interactive,
which ha.." lost money for the past
16quartel's- more than $1 billion.
I..ateIy, though, it has been intro
dueing new prodU(:.. ts, including a
reV'amped Disney website, in an ef.
fort to tum aprofitbyeod of year.
"Infinity" is scheduled to arrive
in storesinJune, pegged to the re
lease in theaters of Pixar's ''Mon
sters Universily.' It will be avail
able on gaming consoles and on
the Internet A full mobile version
is scheduled to arrive shor1ly after.
To play ''Infini1y,'' usen> will buy a
$75 gaule. It will come with a base
where figurines of Disney and PIx
ar characters can be plugged in.
Three figures come with the
starter kit Sulley, Jack Sparrow
and Mr. lncredible. Other figures
and add-ons will be sold separate
!y, priced at $5 to $35. Disney's
goal is to create a collecting fren
zy- certnin figures will be inten
tionally hard to find-while roIl
ing out new characters from its
archives. Expect ''Star Wars" and
Mruvel :figures down the road, for
instance.
''We want to focus on products
that are superhighquality and that
can be sustained and built 011 over
time," said John Heasants. co-presi
dent ofDisney Interadi:ve.
-National Business Brlef-
Hun Sen Announces New Tax on Agricultural Land
Prime Minister Hun Sen yesteniay annOlmced that the government
would begin levying a tax on agricuJtural land transfers that are valued at
more than S25,CXXl. 'The government has decided to tax 4 percent on
land that cost more than 100 million riel [about $25,CXXl]," Mr. Hun Sen
said in Mondolkiri province's Keo Seima district, where he delivered
land titles to about 1,200 families. '1bis policy is to support poor peopl,
and to avoid letting lich people pretend they are poor, so we set a middle
line policy: Land costing under 100 million riel will not be taxed, and any
thing higher ",ill be taxed.." Mr. HWl Sen said that exceptions would be
made if a child inherits land worth less than $5O,CXXl from their deceased
parent'>. "In cases when the parents pass away and they transfer land
which costs 200 million riellabout $5O,CXXll to their children, we will not
tax them for official stamp lof documents]." Matthew Rendall, managing
partner of lawfirm Sciaroni & Associates, said a 4 percent tax is typically
levied for transfer of real estate, but not for agric"1llturalland. 'The reason
why they didn't do it before L'l because most agricuJturalland is held by
lease hold," he said. (Neou Vamuzritl and DenR-Hern CIiRn)