The Phnom Penh Post, a daily English-language newspaper in Cambodia, published the main findings and conclusions from a PEP-supported study conducted by a local research team, led by Roth Vathana. Their findings indicate that microfinance loans do little to raise the incomes of poor families in Cambodia, as they are difficult to access without land certificates as collateral and interest rates remain high. The study suggests that households with pre-existing business activities were more likely to save and borrow to expand, whereas households without other business activities would increase consumption. The outcomes of this project will be published into various formats by PEP by the end of 2016.
Meanwhile, Le Confident, a national newspaper in the Central African Republic (CAR), published the findings and policy recommendations from a PEP-supported study that assessed the economic impact of Chinese investments in various sectors of the cotton industry. The team of local researchers, led by Roger Yélé, found that this investment lead to increased production, reducing sales prices, but without an increase in demand. However, they also found that foreign direct investment contributes to increased GDP and better standards of living. In order to make best use of foreign investment, the research team recommends that the CAR cotton industry be revitalized through close collaboration with investors to guide how the funding is invested. Find out more about this project through the following PEP publications (in French): Working paper 2016-12 and policy brief 131