KAMPONG CHAM, Cambodia, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said on Tuesday that the COVID-19 pandemic has cost the country about 2.3 billion U.S. dollars.
"So far, we have spent 2.3 billion dollars to deal with the COVID-19 crisis," he said at the inauguration ceremony of the Stueng Trang-Kroch Chhmar Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge here.
A portion of the budget had been used to purchase COVID-19 vaccines, he said, adding that he was very proud of the government's success in its vaccination drive.
To date, the country had administered at least one vaccine dose to 14.1 million people, or 88.1 percent of its 16-million population, the Ministry of Health said, adding that of them, 13.24 million, or 82.7 percent, had been fully vaccinated with both required shots, and 2.15 million, or 13.5 percent, had received a booster dose.
With its high vaccination rates, the Southeast Asian nation has recently reopened the country in all areas.
Hun Sen said he is confident that the reopening of the country now is not a setback, and adding that the kingdom's economy is expected to grow around 3 percent this year and up to 5 percent next year.
Meanwhile, Hun Sen said the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which will both enter into force on Jan. 1, 2022, will give Cambodia greater market access to China and other RCEP countries.