Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cambodia to Host 1st International Kite Festival in Koh Kong province

By BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts (MoCFA), in collaboration with the governor of Koh Kong province, will organize the “Koh Kong International Kite Festival,” which will take place from January 6-7, 2010 in Koh Kong province with the participation of over 100 kite lovers from countries. Koh Kong is one of the most beautiful coastal provinces in Cambodia. It is 280 kilometres away from Phnom Penh and borders Thailand.

Thai Noreak Sathya, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, said that the ten participating countries include Cambodia, China, France, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Sweden, and Thailand.

The Secretary of State Noreak Sathya continued to say that it marks the first time as his ministry will hold the International Kite Festival in Koh Kong province in Cambodia. The main purpose of the festival is to celebrate the 31st Anniversary of the Victory over Genocide Day, which is the day Cambodian people were liberated and rescued from the Khmer Rouge.

He added that another objective of the international festival is to attract national and international tourists visiting Koh Kong province, which is one of the most beautiful coastal provinces in Cambodia. It is also a cultural event contributing to making Koh Kong province a future natural and cultural province for tourists.

“The main objective of the international kite festival is to dedicate the 31st Anniversary of the Victory over Genocide Day and is celebrated in contributing to the implementation of the Cambodian government’s rectangular strategy to begin the new cultural goal ‘Cambodia: The Kingdom of Khmer Culture’ in the future,” he told the press conference on December 25 in Phnom Penh.

He pointed out that the “Kite” or “Khleng” is a part of Khmer traditional culture and used to be a sacred object during Angkor epoch. Due to the Khmer Rouge regime and about two decades of civil wars in Cambodia, Khmer kites’ forms and its documents had mostly been destroyed, too. He stated that after the liberation of Cambodia in 1979 and hard work and research conducted by MoCFA, the Khmer Kites Flying festival survived and was re-celebrated in 1994.

During the past 31 years, Khleng has become an identification of the Khmer Culture and has been recognized in the world, he said, adding that in the future, the kite festival will be serving as an important thing aiming to promote tourism in Cambodia.

Sim Sarak, General Director of the Finance and Administration Department in Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, said that Khmer kites are an important national identification of Cambodia. It has been done by Khmers for over 400 years since the Fu-nan period or Nokor Phnom Time.

He said that the festival is always celebrated for sacrifice and thanksgiving for Preah Peay (winds), which have blown the clouds from the sky; created rains for people doing farming in the rainy seasons, and created good weather for people to collect their produces in harvesting season.

He also said that to develop as well as preserve the Kite for next generation, the Cambodian government and the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts will continue its hard work in training the students and organizing more kite festivals in Cambodia in the future. He added to promote Khmer culture internationally, his ministry will design a variety of Khmer traditional kites in order to attend national and international kite festivals or competitions in the future.

Dek Sarin, Director of the Cultural Development Department in MoCFA, said that at present, Khmer kites had been developed and also influencing every local and international milieu. He added that since 1994, MoCFA has been organizing a lot of nationwide Khmer kite flying competitions in Cambodia.

He added that MoCFA has also sent Cambodian Kites flyers to participate in international competitions totaling 43 in the world, in which 19 competitions were held in European countries and the other 34 in Asian countries. As a result, Cambodia has received the “Unique Design of the World” and also received many medals from the international kite tournaments above.

Relating to the Koh Kong International Kite Festival, Sarin said that there are a total of 72 Cambodian kite flyers from 24 cities and provinces, and 40 kite flyers from nine countries will attend the competition in Cambodia.

He said that those who win the first class of the competition will receive a trophy, along with a one million riel award; the second winner will receive an 800,000 riel reward; and the third winner will receive a 700, 000 riel award. He added that those who do not win the competition will also receive 100,000 riel each as incentive money. The trophy and awards are generously provided by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. ////

Friday, December 25, 2009

Cambodia Hosts 2009 WOVD Volleyball World Cup

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Six National Disabled Volleyball teams from six countries and international sports officials from nine countries attended the “World Organization of Volleyball for the Disabled (WOVD) World Cup 2009” for five days from December 14-19, held at the National Stadium in Phnom Penh. The teams were from Cambodia, Germany, Malaysia, Poland, Canada, and Slovakia.

The Cambodia 2009 WOVD Volleyball World Cup was organized by the Cambodian National Volleyball League (CNVLD) in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, which is under the patronage of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, and sponsored by the Cellcard Company. The Opening Ceremony of the World Cup competition was presided over by Lok Chum Teav Dr. Bun Rany Hun Sen, President of the Cambodian Red Cross (CRC).

President Dr. Bun Rany Hun Sen said that the today’s event has encouraged disabled Cambodians to become strong, patient, devoted, and industrious in doing their best for their respective future and well being of their family. Moreover, sports enables us to having good health and strength, and enables human beings to live together harmoniously in peace, safety, solidarity.

“This important event is a powerful symbol of the determination of the Royal Government of Cambodia, in particular the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, in making efforts to extend care and support to address the hardship of the disabled, and this includes the enhancement of the rights of the disabled, to build capacity, protection, and elimination of all kinds of discrimination against them,” said Dr. Bun Rany Hun Sen.

She said the Royal Government of Cambodia has urged the comprehensive integration of the disabled into society through the development of law for the protection and rights of the disabled, encouragement of the respect of law, development of a national plan, and the establishment of a mechanism to urge the acceptance of the disabled in the public and private sector services and other programs.

“Cambodia has supported and encouraged the disabled to actively participate in the sport sector. As a result, Cambodia has become one of the active members of the international community of sports for promoting sports for the disabled,” she said. “I am very proud of the national teams for having made efforts in various competitions and received continuous awards. All these activities have brought you good health, and have added value to your life.”

She pointed out that the Cambodian government has paid attention to disabled people through its socio-economic support policies and cooperation with development partners and national and international NGOs to reduce gradually the number of landmine victims. In the meantime, the Cambodian Red Cross, as the humanitarian organization in cooperation with relevant ministries and institutions, has actively been involved in raising awareness and promoting the respect of traffic laws and other laws aiming to reduce the number of accidents, which result in disability and loss of labor capacity. Besides preventative measures, Cambodia has made utmost efforts to provide support and enhance the rights and ability of the disabled and in particular, the support and encouragement to this Volley World Cup.

The Disabled World Cup is a wonderful example of the successful cooperation between the Royal Government of Cambodia through the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation joining hands with Cambodian NGOs, the Cambodian Red Cross, International Committee of the Red Cross and Cambodian corporate sectors. All these actors have been working together as a team to assist the Cambodian landmine survivors and persons with disabilities.

“Today’s event is also an important opportunity to celebrate 30 years of the International Red Cross in Cambodia for its humanitarian mission to help the survivors of the Pol Pot’s genocidal regime since 1979, and its wonderful [commitment] to addressing the complex issue related to landmines and remnants of war and its destructive consequences,” she said. “I would like to dedicate the WOVD Volleyball World Cup as an important event turning the tragic past and destruction caused by war to become an opportunity for capacity building, creating talents, establishing and strengthening friendship, solidarity and cooperation.”

Christopher Minko, Secretary General of the National Volleyball League (Disabled), said that the competition of Volleyball World Cup marked the second time Cambodia hosted this event. He added that for the 2007 WOVD Volleyball World Cup, the German team won the first medal of the competition while the Slovakian team won second place, and the Cambodian team won the third place.

Relating to the 2007 WOVD Volleyball World Cup, Christopher Minko said that Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen has incentive and funds the Cambodian national disabled team for their competition. He added that, according to the Prime Minister Hun Sen, if the Cambodian national disabled team wins the first class of the WOVD Volleyball World Cup 2009, he will award a total of US$10,000 for each Cambodian player; if they won second place of the competition, he will award US$5,000 for each player; and if they won the fourth class of the tournament they will receive US$2,000 for each player. ////

Cambodia Wins 40 Medals in SEA Games 2009

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Cambodia sent a total of 19 sport subjects with 121 athletes for the 25th Southeast Asia Games (SEA Games) hosted in Laos. The 25th SEA Games tournament took place from December 9-18, in Vientiane, Laos, with the participation of eleven countries including Cambodia, Brunei, Laos, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam. As results, Cambodian athletes won 40 medals from the international competition.

Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), said Cambodia’s athlete teams won a total of 40 medals including 3 gold medals, 10 silver medals and 27 bronze medals from the competition.

“It is a very proud and high honor with our Cambodian athletes who have won 40 medals from the 25th SEA Games in Laos for our nation in this year,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly during a personal interview on December 19. “I think that this victory will bring Cambodia to the world of sports in the future.”

Minister Thong Khon said that in 2007 SEA Games in Thailand, Cambodian athletes received a total of 18 medals including 2 gold medals, 5 silver and 11 bronze medals from the competition.
He added that the reason why Cambodia’s athlete teams won more medals from the 2009 SEA Games is that Cambodia prepared well for the competition. Cambodia sent its athletes for oversea training prior to the competition. On other hand, the Cambodian government issued a sub-decree in 2008 providing money for the winners.

According to the sub-decree, those who win the gold medal from SEA Games will receive a total of US$6,000; those who win silver medal will receive US$4,000; and those win the bronze medal will receive US$2,000. The money is given by the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport.
Vath Chamroeun, Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, said that Cambodia has seven potential sport subjects for the 25th SEA Games competition in Laos. The seven potential sport subject including included Petanque, Beach Volleyball, Taekwondo, Wrestling, Tennis, shuttle cock and boxing.

Chamroeun said Cambodian sport subjects that won medals from 2009 SEA Games were: Petanque with 2 gold medals, 3 silver medals and 5 bronze medals; Wrestling with 1 gold medal, 3 silver medals, and 3 bronze medals; boxing with 1 silver and 4 bronze medals; Taekwondo with 3 silver medals and 4 bronze medals; Shuttle Cock with 7 bronze medals; Wushu with 2 bronze medals; and Tennis with one bronze medal.

He added that according to 25th SEA Games report, Thailand won a total of 266 medals including 86 gold, 83 silver medals, and 97 bronze medals; Vietnam won 215 medals including 83 gold medals, 75 silver medals, and 57 bronze medals; Indonesia won 170 medals including 43 gold, 53 silver and 74 bronze; Malaysia won 139 medals including 40 gold, 40 silver, and 59 bronze; Philippines won 124 medals including 38 gold, 35 silver and 51 bronze; Singapore won 98 medals including 33 gold, 30 silver and 35 bronze; Laos won 110 medals including 33 gold, 25 silver, and 52 bronze; Myanmar won 71 medals including 12 gold, 22 silver, and 37 bronze; Cambodia 40 medals including won 3 gold, 10 silver and 27 bronze; Brunei won 10 medals including 1 gold, 1`silver and 8 bronze; and Timor Leste won 3 bronze medals.

According to the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, there are a total of 33 types of sports subjects with 33 sport federations in Cambodia. ////

Cambodia Plans to Enlarge State Television and Radio Broadcasting Nationwide

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA
The Royal Government of Cambodia has planned to enlarge its state broadcasting of both TVK and National Radio of Kampuchea (NRK) 918KHz and FM 105.75 MHz to reach all people in all villages, communes, districts and provinces throughout the country. The aim is to educate and inform people about the important news relating to their health care, education, community developments, prevention of human trafficking, domestic violence and other government’s policies, said the government officials.

Thach Phen, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Information, said that to spread out the news reaching all people in Cambodia nationwide, the government plans to increase the number of the state television TVK’s branch offices and radio stations to be located in all cities and provinces across the Kingdom of Cambodia in the future.

“The media has played an important role to provide the information and education for our people everywhere in Cambodia and I hope that through this extension of the state television and radio broadcasting branches and stations, all Cambodian people will be informed about health education, prevention of human trafficking, domestic violence and other government’s policies,” he said during his opening remarks at the celebration of the second congress of the Press Council of Cambodia (PCC) in Phnom Penh on December 22.

The Secretary of State pointed out that according to report of the Ministry of Information, there are over 500 media organizations including print medias, newsletters, magazines, televisions, radio stations, cable televisions and media organizations in Cambodia. But among these there are only few printed medias which are available for sale in Cambodia’s newspapers publishing industries.

To strengthen the quality of the printed media and electronic media in Cambodia, the Ministry of Information in collaboration with the Press Council of Cambodia, Cambodian Journalist Club, and Cambodian Association for Preventing the Journalists, UNESCO, and other related media associations or international organizations will continue its hard works in preparing and organizing the trainings for journalists in the future, he said.

He added that his ministry will also enforce implementation of the Cambodian Press Law in order to ensure that journalists respect the “Code of Ethics for Cambodian Journalists” as a foundation for practicing journalism.

Teruo Jinnai, Head of Office and UNESCO Representative in Cambodia, said that UNESCO Communication and Technology Sector’s global agenda focuses, among other issues, on the promotion of freedom of expression and freedom of the press as basic human rights, through sensitization and monitoring activities.

UNESCO also fosters media independence and pluralism as prerequisites and major factors of democratization by providing advisory services on media legislation and sensitizing governments, parliamentarians, and other decision makers, said Jinnai, adding that UNESCO fosters freedom of information or rights to information, defined as the universal right to access information held by public bodies, and it also helps to strengthen the capacities of communication institutions, to improve the training of media professionals and to raise awareness among the public in making the best use of communication resources.

“Media functions as a vehicle for the flow of a plurality of viewpoints and multiplicity of voices, thus permitting exercises of citizenships such as participation, criticism and voting,” said Jinnai. “Informed citizens can better and more actively participate in their societies’ decision making processes.”

Jinnai stated that an independent and pluralistic media builds lifelong empowerment by keeping citizens informed and facilitating the flow of educational content. Educating through media is an important way to develop valuable skills. More fundamentally, the media encourages the acquisition of civic knowledge and facilitates discussion concerning current issues.

He said that it is important to work together with school teachers and media education practitioners in developing information and media literacy. Media literacy empowers the critical understanding of the media as well as the ability to decode, understand, communicate and create media products.

Media literacy activates people’s engagement and serves as a catalyst for open and well informed dialogue and local initiatives-community radios for instance-empower groups that are often marginalized and encourage the participation of the major of citizens in public life. New media and information and technologies play an unprecedented role today concerning issues of education and citizenship. ICTs have a huge potential to train and educate communities that have limited or no access to formal education. Community-based multimedia centers are one such example of how the media can serve as a hub for knowledge and learning.

“While the Internet offers an opportunity for empowerment as well as digital integration, the dissemination of information and knowledge will only be fruitful if the vast majority of people have access to these technologies,” he said. “The digital divide and the knowledge gap contributed to increased inequality and we must find ways to bridge these gaps to secure that social and human development leads to poverty eradication.”

Jinnai went on to say the at the core media’s role in empowerment and citizenship is the understanding that freedom of the press is not solely the freedom of journalists to report and comment; it is also deeply connected with public’s rights to freely access information and knowledge and to take a active part in political life.

On December 22, 2009, the Press Council of Cambodia celebrated the Second Congress of the PCC in order to choose its new leadership for third mandate. According to result of the voting, Mr. Sok Sovann, President of the Khmer Journalist Democracy, was elected as New Chairman of the Press Council of Cambodia, while Mr. Kong Arun, President of the Center of Cambodian Journalists, was elected as Vice Chairman of the Press Council of Cambodia, and Mr. Ek Visarakun was elected as the PCC’s Secretary-General. ////

Scholarship Student Din Vandara Wants to Become a Businessman

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

One of The University of Cambodia’s “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships 2007” students, Din Vandara, 20, spoke with The Southeast Asia Weekly on December 24. Din Vandara was born in 1989 in Phnom Penh. He has two sisters in his family.

His father is a military officer working with the Royal Air Force Unit in the Ministry of National Defense and his mother is a fried-rice seller living in Phnom Penh.

Din Vandara is now studying Finance and Banking with The University of Cambodia (UC) after he passed the UC’s scholarship exams in 2007. Before he passed the UC exams, he studied at the Chbar Ampov High School in Phnom Penh and earned a Baccalaureate in 2007.

“I am happy that I passed the scholarship exam of The University of Cambodia in the major of Finance and Banking in 2007,” he said. “I thank Samdech Hun Sen and Dr. Haruhisa Handa very much for offering me the scholarship to study with UC without paying.”

Din Vandara said that he decided to study Finance and Banking with UC because he wanted to apply for work in finance and banking in the future. On the other hand, Vandara wants to become a future banker or businessman.

“My dream is to become a future banker or businessman. I think that if I complete my higher degrees in Finance and Banking, I will apply for work in banking and when I am old enough with much money I will establish my banking company to make businesses,” he said.

Since Vandara has been studying Finance and Banking with The University of Cambodia, he has learned a lot of things such as economics, political science, English Literature, and other subjects that affect to his major. He can also read, write and speak English well.

To achieve his Bachelor’s Degree goal, Vandara is now studying very hard and reads many books related to his studies everyday. Other research sources include the internet, foreign newspapers and magazines.

“I am now studying very hard every day. I study in the morning and in the afternoon I meet with my friends in order to discuss my major courses,” he said. “Also at night time, I spent four hours reading the subjects and to do home work.”

He went on to say that when he completes his Bachelor’s degree goal, he will then continue to apply for study for a Master’s degree in Finance and Banking with UC in the future.

Pem Penh, 23, a UC student, and personal friend with Din Vandara, appreciated Vandara’s capacity for hard work. He said that he has known Din Vandara since he was studying with him at UC in 2007. He added that Vandara was a hard learner and was one of the most outstanding students in his class. ////




Cambodia and Korea Launch the First T-DMB Television System

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Cambodia and Korea launched the “Terrestrial Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (T-DMB)” on December 22 in order to introduce Cambodians to the newest Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Cambodia.

The launch of the “T-DMB” system was organized by the Cambodian Ministry of Information, Korea Radio Promotion Association (KRPA) and Korean Communications Commission of Republic Korea, and the launching ceremony of the T-DMB was presided over by Khieu Kanharith, Minister of Information, and Lee Kyung JUNG, Ambassador of the Korean Embassy in Cambodia.

Kem Kunawadh, Government Delegate in Charge of the General Director of the National of Television Kamouchea (TVK), said that it marked the first time Cambodia has launched the “T-DMB” television system.

General Director Kunawadh continued to say that this establishment of the newest ICTs or T-DMB system was made through the good cooperation between the Kingdom of Cambodia and The Republic of Korea in promoting the development of ICTs in Cambodia.

“The T-DBM system is one of the Korea’s newest technologies, which will be used in Cambodia. Through the launch of this T-DBM system, I hope that our Cambodian people will enjoy this newest television system and it will also become the popular TV system in Cambodia in the future,” he said during the launching ceremony in Phnom Penh.

He emphasized that the launch of the T-DMB system has shown the “Dynamic Korea” and the success of the good cooperation on the new technologies in the digital age of the T-DMB between Cambodia and Korea.

He stated that according to the Ministry of Information’s plan, the first phase of the T-DMB system will be used only in Phnom Penh with a total of 28 kilometers coverage surrounding the capital and the next phase will be used nationwide throughout the Kingdom of Cambodia.

He added that through the establishment of this T-DMB system, TVK will be leading in producing its complex productions with a quality guarantee and broadcasting content in response to the needs of their viewers in Cambodia.

Youn-Hyun Park, General Director of the Korean Communications Commission of Republic Korea, said that currently, the development of industry and information technologies have been vastly changing the living-condition and livelihood of the people in Korea.

He said that T-DMB is the newest achievement of integrated technology between broadcasting system and telecommunications which provide complex programs including broadcasting system, telecommunications, and broadcasting contents.

He said that T-DMB is a television service that people can visit free of charge everywhere, anytime with high qualities and quantities.

“I hope that with T-DMB providing nationwide, T-DMB will contribute to development of Cambodia on the section of the telecommunications, information and technologies and health care of people in Cambodia. I also believe that this launch of the T-DMB program will become a good opportunity in promoting and improving cooperation and relation between our two countries in the future,” he said.

He added that currently T-DMB is a very popular television system in Korea and there are about 24 million T-DMB televisions in Korea. ///

Russia Plans to Boost its Investment in Cambodia

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Many Russian business people and investors will come to do business in Cambodia in the future to generate work for Cambodian people and reduce poverty in Cambodia thanks to the peace, political stability, and good cooperation between the two countries, said Russian officials.

Dilyara Ravilova Borovik, First Secretary of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Cambodia, said that the bond of friendship and cooperation between Cambodia and Russia has been improving all sectors. She added that due to the good friendship and cooperation, many Russian investors as well as Russian tourists will come to begin their own trades or businesses in Cambodia in the near future.

“Cambodia is an old friend of Russia. I noted that currently the bond of friendship and cooperation between Cambodia and Russia has been improving and the relationship of Cambodian and Russian leaders are also good. I believed that due to good cooperation and relations, many Russian businesspeople or investors will come to begin their business operations in Cambodia in the near future,” she told reporters at a press conference on December 20.

The First Secretary said that according to the statistic report of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Cambodia 2009, in nine months in 2009, Russia bought Cambodian clothing and agricultural products with the cost a total of US$ 32.3 million. She stated that in 2008, there were a total of US$600 million of Russian investment. Most of the Russian investments in Cambodia were made on telecommunications, hotels and tourisms. She added that there were about 260,000 Russian tourists arriving Cambodia in 2008.

Besides investing in Cambodia, Dilyara Ravilova Borovik said Russia has also bought and imported a lot of Cambodian clothing and agricultural products for sale in Russia every year.
She added that to promote investments as well as trading opportunity in Cambodia, the chambers of commerce of Cambodia and Russia will continue to work closely with each other in order to lobby Russian investors to do business in Cambodia in future. The two countries will also continue to encourage the cooperation all types of sectors including trade, culture, education, tourism, information, and technologies or telecommunications in order to help developing the Kingdom of Cambodia in future.

Kolesor Sergeiy, Director of the Russian Center for Cinema and Culture, said that in 1980s, Russia helped Cambodia in all sectors including education, culture and film industry. So far, Russia has provided a total of 25 scholarships for Cambodian students to study at the advanced or higher education programs in Russia every year. ////



BBC WST Launches Cambodia’s Sentinel Survey 2009-Media and HIV


BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The BBC World Service Trust (BBC WST), an international nongovernmental organization of the BBC and independent charity that promotes development through the innovation use of media, has launched its report about Media and HIV on December 23 in Phnom Penh.

The presentation of the BBC World Service Trust’s research and learning was conducted by the BBC WST’s researchers, aiming to find effective methods and solutions to prevent and reduce the effect of HIV and AIDS in Cambodia.

Charles Hamilton, head of the project, said that the BBC World Service Trust has been working in Cambodia since 2003 on a variety of projects covering the thematic areas of health and governance. He added that in 2003, the BBC World Service Trust embarked upon a three year project focusing on HIV and AIDS and maternal and child health, working in close collaboration with several broadcasters to produce large scale media health campaigns in Cambodia.

Hamilton went on to say that the project comprised a 100 episode TV drama “Taste of Life,” 54 high quality TV and radio spots, four weekly radio phone-in programs and accompanying print materials in Cambodia.

“This report provides a measure of trends over the last year about HIV/AIDS information in the mass media, discussion on HIV/AIDS risks and HIV testing, both respondents’ interest in being tested and their actual use of HIV testing,” he said during his opening remarks at the presentations.

Hamilton said the data demonstrates the effectiveness of mass media in delivering HIV and AIDS information to Cambodian young people in the general population and the strong performance of the BBC World Services Trust media outputs in the past years. The report identifies several different segments of population that can be targeted differently depending on current risks assessment and own interest in being tested for HIV.

Lizz Frost Yocum, Research Manager of BBC WST, said that BBC WST works with people in developing and transitional countries to improve the quality of their lives. She said that the BBC WST’s works seeks to raise awareness among mass media and opinion-forming audiences, affect behavior change, influent policies, and transfer skills and knowledge. In all of its work, BBC WST has a strong commitment to delivering cutting-edge media solutions to develop challenges.

However, relating to BBC WST’s research, Yocum said that mass media continues to be an effective mechanism to disseminate HIV and AIDS information to young people in Cambodia. She added that as in 2008, HIV and AIDS information reached 92 percent of the population via mass media in the past year.

According to the report, the exposure to information on HIV/AIDS in the media is associated with higher levels of discussion about HIV risks and more interest in being tested for HIV. The mass media is a strongly recommended method to communicate about HIV risks and testing. To ensure reaching as many young Cambodians as possible with a variety program outputs that meet their lifestyles, a multi-format, multi-media approach is recommended. The reach of television formats (85 percent) was greater than radio (65 percent) but many have encountered HIV/AIDS information on both television and radio (58 percent). BBC World Service Trust outputs effectively reached virtually all televisions viewers (98 percent) and radio listeners (96 percent). ///

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cambodia Hosts 2009 WOVD Volleyball World Cup

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Six National Disabled Volleyball teams from six countries and international sports officials from nine countries attended the “World Organization of Volleyball for the Disabled (WOVD) World Cup 2009” for five days from December 14-19, held at the National Stadium in Phnom Penh. The teams were from Cambodia, Germany, Malaysia, Poland, Canada, India, and Slovakia.

The Cambodia 2009 WOVD Volleyball World Cup was organized by the Cambodian National Volleyball League (CNVLD) in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, which is under the patronage of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, and sponsored by the Cellcard Company. The Opening Ceremony of the World Cup competition was presided over by Lok Chum Teav Dr. Bun Rany Hun Sen, President of the Cambodian Red Cross (CRC).

President Dr. Bun Rany Hun Sen said that the today’s event has encouraged disabled Cambodians to become strong, patient, devoted, and industrious in doing their best for their respective future and well being of their family. Moreover, sports enables us to having good health and strength, and enables human beings to live together harmoniously in peace, safety, solidarity.

“This important event is a powerful symbol of the determination of the Royal Government of Cambodia, in particular the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, in making efforts to extend care and support to address the hardship of the disabled, and this includes the enhancement of the rights of the disabled, to build capacity, protection, and elimination of all kinds of discrimination against them,” said Dr. Bun Rany Hun Sen.

She said the Royal Government of Cambodia has urged the comprehensive integration of the disabled into society through the development of law for the protection and rights of the disabled, encouragement of the respect of law, development of a national plan, and the establishment of a mechanism to urge the acceptance of the disabled in the public and private sector services and other programs.

“Cambodia has supported and encouraged the disabled to actively participate in the sport sector. As a result, Cambodia has become one of the active members of the international community of sports for promoting sports for the disabled,” she said. “I am very proud of the national teams for having made efforts in various competitions and received continuous awards. All these activities have brought you good health, and have added value to your life.”

She pointed out that the Cambodian government has paid attention to disabled people through its socio-economic support policies and cooperation with development partners and national and international NGOs to reduce gradually the number of landmine victims. In the meantime, the Cambodian Red Cross, as the humanitarian organization in cooperation with relevant ministries and institutions, has actively been involved in raising awareness and promoting the respect of traffic laws and other laws aiming to reduce the number of accidents, which result in disability and loss of labor capacity. Besides preventative measures, Cambodia has made utmost efforts to provide support and enhance the rights and ability of the disabled and in particular, the support and encouragement to this Volley World Cup.

The Disabled World Cup is a wonderful example of the successful cooperation between the Royal Government of Cambodia through the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation joining hands with Cambodian NGOs, the Cambodian Red Cross, International Committee of the Red Cross and Cambodian corporate sectors. All these actors have been working together as a team to assist the Cambodian landmine survivors and persons with disabilities.

“Today’s event is also an important opportunity to celebrate 30 years of the International Red Cross in Cambodia for its humanitarian mission to help the survivors of the Pol Pot’s genocidal regime since 1979, and its wonderful [commitment] to addressing the complex issue related to landmines and remnants of war and its destructive consequences,” she said. “I would like to dedicate the WOVD Volleyball World Cup as an important event turning the tragic past and destruction caused by war to become an opportunity for capacity building, creating talents, establishing and strengthening friendship, solidarity and cooperation.”

Christopher Minko, Secretary General of the National Volleyball League (Disabled), said that the competition of Volleyball World Cup marked the second time Cambodia hosted this event. He added that for the 2007 WOVD Volleyball World Cup, the German team won the first medal of the competition while the Slovakian team won second place, and the Cambodian team won the third place.

Relating to the 2007 WOVD Volleyball World Cup, Christopher Minko said that Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen has incentive and funds the Cambodian national disabled team for their competition. He added that, according to the Prime Minister Hun Sen, if the Cambodian national disabled team wins the first class of the WOVD Volleyball World Cup 2009, he will award a total of US$10,000 for each Cambodian player; if they won second place of the competition, he will award US$5,000 for each player; and if they won the fourth class of the tournament they will receive US$2,000 for each player. ////

“I Want to Become English Teacher and Interpreter”

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Heng Oddam, 20, one of The University of Cambodia’s “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships 2008” students, was born in Sourng district, Kampong Cham province. He has one brother and one sister and he is the second brother in his family. His father is a police officer and his mother is housewife living in Kampong Cham province.

Oddam is now studying English Literature at The University of Cambodia (UC) after he passed the UC’s scholarship exams in 2008. Before applying for studies with UC, he studied at Tbong Khmum High School in Kampong Cham, and earned a Baccalaureate in 2008.

He then applied to study English Literature with UC following the introduction of the Samdech Techo Hun Sen “Vision 100”scholarships and “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships” in 2008.

“When I passed the UC scholarship exam I felt very excited because I never had this opportunity before and I think that I am lucky that I passed the scholarship exam of The University of Cambodia without paying the tuition,” he said during an interview with The Southeast Asia Weekly on December 16.

Oddam said that he decided to apply for the scholarship to study English Literature at UC because he didn’t want to spend his parent’s money for his study in Phnom Penh. On the other hand, he knew that UC was the best university and its educational program is very much up-to-date curriculum modeled on the modular system in the United States of America.

“I was interested in English Literature since I was studying at Tbong Khmum High School in Kampong Cham province,” he said. “I decided to study English Literature because I want to speak English well and to become a professional English Teacher in the future.”

Oddam went on to say that since he has studied English with UC so far, his English ability including writing, reading, and speaking skills, have improved and he can also communicate in English well with his friends as well as foreigners in Cambodia.

“I decided to apply to study with The University of Cambodia because I want to become an English teacher or English interpreter in the future,” said Oddam.

To earn a Bachelor’s Degree with UC, Oddam said he will try to study hard, do exercises or homework and also read books related to his studies. He takes advantage of sources like the internet and English newspapers to perform additional research in his field.

He continued to say that he also plans to study for a Master’s Degree in English Literature with The University of Cambodia in the future.

Taing Ratha, 20, a second year engineering student of the Institute of Technology of Cambodia, and a close friend of Heng Oddam, praised Heng Oddam’s hard work to get the scholarship. He said that he has known Heng Oddam since he was studying with him in grade 10 at Tbong Khmum High School in Kampong Cham province. He added that Oddam was a hard learner and he was also one of the top ten students in his class.

“I hope that with his hard study and work, he will pass a Bachelor’s Degree with UC and he will realize his dreams and become a future good English teacher,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly during an interview on December 18. ////

UNDP Launches the 2009 Human Development Report


BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has launched its latest Human Development Report, entitled “Overcoming Barriers: Human Mobility and Development” about overcoming development barriers in Cambodia.

The official launch was announced by UNDP Cambodia Resident Representative Douglas Brokerick with the participation of about 200 people representing media groups, relevant non government organizations, and related government ministries on December 17 at the Hotel Cambodiana in Phnom Penh.

Douglas Brokerick said that the Human Development Report is a flagship UNDP publication that has framed debates on some of the most pressing challenges our planet faces, examining issues as diverse water, human rights, democracy, climate change, and migration. The first Human Development Report was published in 1990, and next year, UNDP will celebrate 20 years of producing this report.

“These reports have helped advance the notion that development is about expanding the peoples’ choices so they can lead lives they value,” he said during opening remarks delivered at the launch of the Human Development Report.

Brokerick said that the 2009 report looks at migration from the perspectives of migrants themselves—the nurses, farm laborers, factory workers, teachers, and so many others who move around the world, and also from the perspectives of the families they leave behind and the communities in which they live and work.

He added that the overriding message of this report is that migration—both across and within national borders—has the potential to greatly improve the human welfare, if they get it right. But those who move face many challenges that can limit the potential gains migration can bring.

According to Brokerick, the 2009 report argues that government should take necessary steps, such as ensuring migration-friendly policies are in place, to pave the way for safe and legal migration and encourage human development.

The global economic crisis has had a significant impact on migration, with many migration workers losing their jobs and being forces to return to their families or move into other industries. In Cambodia, the economic downturn has severely affected the garment, construction, and tourism industries, where many internal migrants seek employment.

He emphasized that this year’s Human Development report also reported that some countries have witnessed a backlash against migration as a result of the global economic downturn so a very important dimension of this year’s report is that it challenges many of the stereotypes that surround the debate around migration. One of the stereotypes is that movement across national borders dominates the flow of people.

Another key message of this report is that migration or human mobility often stems from inequalities, he said, adding that in Cambodia, many people move to the cities in search of better-paid work, whether it is to Phnom Penh for the garment and construction industries or to Siem Reap province for tourism.

Jo Scheuer, UNDP Cambodia Country Director, said that the global report makes recommendations. It urges governments to: open up existing entry channels so that more workers can migrate lawfully; lower the transaction costs for migrants; find solutions which benefit both destination communities and the migrants they receive; make it easier for people to move within their own countries; mainstream migration into national development strategies; and ensure basic rights of migration.

“As the report states, it will take a concerted effort by all partners, including government, civil society and development partners, to ensure that appropriate policies and supporting services are in place to increase opportunities for safe migration and ensure migrants’ rights are better protected,” he said.

He said that a bold vision is needed to enhance the human development gains from migration – a vision that recognizes the underlying risks and constraints, and sets out reforms that will produce positive results. He added that this latest Human Development Report, “Overcoming Barriers,” presents clear recommendations for striking the balance needed to address theses challenges. ///

Cambodia Holds “4th One Province One Product 2009” Exhibition

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Royal Government of Cambodia has conducted its “4th Cambodia Import-Export and One Province and One Product Exhibition 2009,” an important trade forum to encourage and attract foreign business people and investors to Cambodia.

The “4th Cambodia Import-Export and One Province and One Product Exhibition 2009” was organized by the Ministry of Commerce for four days from December 15-18 at the Mondial Center in Phnom Penh, and the event was presided over by Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister Keat Chhon, Minister of Economy and Finance, and also Honorary Chairman of the Supreme National Economic Council in Cambodia.

The Deputy Prime Minister said that this is the fourth year in a row in which this significant trade event has been held to showcase the business community of both national and international levels for businesses and investments being carried out in the country. He added that Cambodia has always strived to provide a will to serve the common interest of bilateral or multilateral developments.

“I would like to inform that Cambodia has been implementing the ‘Rectangular Strategy’ for the development of the national economy, which was a lofty initiative and wise visions of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen. The ‘rectangular strategy’ has been successfully implemented during phase I, and has presently entered into phase II, which is the Socio-Economic Policy Agenda of the political program of the Royal Government of the 4th legislature of the National Assembly,” Keat Chhon said during his opening remarks delivered to the opening ceremony.

Keat Chhon continued to say that in the framework of the implementation of this strategy, the Royal Government of Cambodia is constantly promoting sustainable growth for Cambodia, based on the fowling factors including peace, political stability, security and social order; Cambodia’s integration into the region and the world, which lets Cambodia have major market access including private sector, donor community and civil society; and favorable macro-economic and financial environments.

The “rectangular strategy” and the above-mentioned key factors are the basic fundamentals for encouraging business people and investors both national and international, to be able to do businesses in Cambodia. The Royal Government of Cambodia has charted the direction for the Ministry of Commerce to create such annual trade events.

“The ‘Cambodia Import-Export and One Product One Province Exhibition’ trade event has provided golden opportunities for all traders, producers and investors who are attending this exhibition to seek their trade and investment partners to enlarge their trade businesses,” said Keat Chhon.

He added that the exhibition organized under the topic of the “Import-Export and One province One Product” is the contribution of the Royal Government to create a trade atmosphere by promoting the campaigns of “One Province One Product,” promoting Cambodian export to the international markets, promoting and increasing the openness of the domestic markets, attracting more foreign trade and investment partners to Cambodia, and promoting trade activities in relation to tourism through attending the trade exhibitions.

Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister and Minster of the Commerce, said that the 4th “Cambodia Import-Export and One Product One Province Exhibition” was conducted with the participation of 126 companies for a total number of 230 booths, out of which 86 booths were for introducing export products and local services, 96 booths were for displaying import products and foreign services, with the balance 48 booths for exhibiting “One Province One Product” or “One Village One Product” exhibitions.

The Minister said the products and services on display were divided into 18 major categories as follows: agricultural products; agricultural and industrial machinery; skill handicrafts and souvenirs; general work place stationery and equipment; processed foods or other foodstuffs; daily consumable goods and household products; products for household decoration; fabric, textiles and tailoring equipment; all kinds of construction materials; hotel services; educational institutions; jewelry and other precious stones; medical and cosmetic products; plastic products and lubricant; electronic and computer equipment; investment projects; tourism, banking and other financial services; and various kinds of products and furniture.

“The organizing of the annual trade exhibition for the past years has shown proud fruition, and we see remarkable increase in the trade and the investment delegations attending this important national trade event,” he said. “This year, Japan led 80 delegations with 10 exhibition booths booked for its country’s business entities. We also see a group of 30 delegations from the South and North Korea, with 13 exhibition booths confirmed.”

Besides the activities above, there were also delegations from different 15 countries such as China, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore that confirmed their exhibition booths in this exhibition in Cambodia.

“I trust that the annual ‘Cambodia Import-Export and One Product One Province Exhibition’ is an effective trade and investment event in Cambodia, which creates solid business opportunities for domestic and foreign companies to discuss and exchange opinion, and to showcase their products or create further trade and investment partnerships,” he added.


Community Management Trainings for Government Officials and Journalists

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC) provided trainings on Community Management and Capacity Building for Self-Reliant and Sustainable Poverty Alleviations for communal council members, teachers, government officers, farmer representative communities, framers, local NGOs, and relevant stakeholders nationwide in Cambodia. The courses are under the financial support from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty (FNF) and European Community.

Dr. Yang Saing Koma, President of CEDAC, said that since the project began in March 2007, a total of 130 students (41 females representing 31 percent) have graduated from the Community Management Courses throughout the country. He added that FNF and CEDAC have implemented a three-year project from 2007-2009 on “Community Management and Capacity Building for Self-Reliant and Sustainable Poverty Alleviations” in Cambodia, funded by European Commission.

“The goal of the project is to contribute to the poverty alleviation through building capacity and knowledge in managing community to the communal council members, teachers, government officers, farmer representatives, framers, local NGOs, and relevant stakeholders in Cambodia,” Dr. Yang said while handing over certificates of Community Management Work in Phnom Penh on December 15.
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Khem Sophanna, FNF Program Manager in Cambodia, said that the Community Management Course is a self-learning system which was originally established in Australia to provide learning opportunity for disadvantaged rural areas in the fields of office management, project management, and general management. He added that the course is provided free of charge to 521 students (33 percent females), who are commune council members, teachers, government officers, farmers, and students who lack access to educational opportunity.

The course undertook in the English language in 2007 but has been conducted in Khmer language since 2008.

However, Dr. Yang Saing Koma said that another component of the project, Capacity Building, has successfully organized 79 workshops (40 development dialogues and 39 teacher forums) on best-practice experiences relating to personal development, in creating self-help saving group, empowering women in participatory approaches, System of Rice Intensification (SRI), growing organic rice, conducting ecological animals husbandries, and making multi-purposes home garden.

Dr. Saing Koma said that the 10 target areas are Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, Siem Reap, Takeo, Kampot, Prey Veng, and Svay Rieng provinces. He added that there are 4,978 participants, of whom 1,276 were female with 25.63 percent. They are district deputy governors, district educational bureau representatives, commune chief, council members, village chief, farmer associations, farmers, teachers, students, other NGO representatives and also facilitator and organizer team members.

Besides training the farmers and government’s officials, Dr. Saing Koma said his organization has also conducted two workshops for local journalists in the first workshop titled “Role of Journalism in Rural Development” held on July 8-19 in Kampong Speu province with the participation about 40 reporters from different printed media, televisions and radio. The second workshop titled “Samchol Improves Quality of Life” was held on December 12-13, 2009 in Sihanouk province with about 40 journalists participating.

To promote Cambodian journalists’ capacity building on Agricultural Skills and Self-Reliant and Sustainable Poverty Alleviations in Cambodia, CEDAC will continue to conduct more training for in the future. ///

ASEAN Social and Cultural Community Blueprint Workshop

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

About 200 Cambodians officials from provincial and district culture and fine art departments throughout the country attended the “ASEAN Social and Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint” workshop at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts (MoCFA) in Phnom Penh on December 16.

Samraing Kamsan, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, said that the workshop marked the first time his ministry has organized this important event for the ministry’s officials in order to share information and knowledge on ASEAN, especially the ASCC Blueprint and the establishment of ASCC in 2015.

The main purposes of the workshop are to publish a blueprint of the ASEAN Social and Cultural Community for all based cultural institutions to be well informed; create a working plan and program in accordance with the ASEAN blueprint, seek new and important knowledge about the blueprint in order to improve the establishment of ASCC in Cambodia; and also to document and publish this knowledge for the advantage of implementation and further research in the future.

“The potential goals of the establishment for ASEAN Social and Cultural Community are gathered on serving the common interests of all ASEAN’s country members through strengthening solidarity and unity between ASEAN state members and ASEAN members focusing on promotion of social healthcare, quality of living, peace, prosperity and people’s developments,” he said during his opening remarks at the workshop.

The Secretary of State stated that Cambodia became a full member of ASEAN on May 30, 1999. The membership has provided the opportunity for Cambodia to integrate its politics, economy, and cultural sectors into the region as well as the world. Since then, all Cambodian government ministries and institutions have actively taken part with all ASEAN members in community building, which are three pillars of ASEAN including ASEAN political community and security community (APSC), ASEAN economic community, and ASEAN social and cultural community.

On October 7, 2003, due to the ASEAN Concord II in Bali, Indonesia, ASEAN leaders agreed to establish these three ASEAN communities by the end of 2020. But in the 12th ASEAN top summit on January 13, 2007 in Cebu, Philippines, all ASEAN leaders signed and agreed to establish these three ASEAN communities by the end of 2015, said Samraing Kamsan. He added that to achieve this decision goal of the ASEAN leaders, during the 13th ASEAN top summit on November 20, 2007, all ASEAN leaders agreed again to create a blueprint on the establishment of three ASEAN communities to achieve by the end of 2015.

“I hope that all participants will learn more or know about the concept of the ASEAN and ASCC blueprint and finally, we can prepare ourselves and an action plan for the good integration of Cambodia’s cultural resources into the ASEAN community in the future,” he said.

Ouk Sokun, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Fine Arts who attended the workshop, said that the establishment of common communities of ASEAN aims to maintain and strengthen the peace and stability in ASEAN country members in the future.

The ASEAN Social and Cultural Community will play an important role in ensuring the preservation of cultural things, people’s healthcare, the environment, knowledge training, poverty alleviation, and developments in ASEAN, said Sokun.

“The understanding about the detailed meaning of ASEAN’s pillars will help our Cambodian people be ready to participate in the ASEAN community by 2015,” he said. “I hope this workshop will transfer new knowledge for participants to be aware and understand the meaning of one of the three ASEAN’s pillars stipulated in ASEAN’s Constitution.” ///

Heng Oddam wants to become English professor

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

One of the University of Cambodia’s “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships 2008” students, Heng Oddam, 20, was born in Sourng district, in Kampong Cham province. He has one brother and one sister and he is the second brother in his family. His father is a Police Officer and his mother is housewife living in Kampong Cham province.

Heng Oddam is now studying English Literature at the University of Cambodia (UC) after he passed the UC’s scholarship exams in 2008. Before applying for studying with The University of Cambodia, Heng Oddam studied at Tbong Khmom High School in Kampong Cham Province, and earning his Baccalaureate in 2008. He applied to study the English Literature at UC following the introduction of the Samdech Techo Hun Sen “Vision 100”scholarship and “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships” in 2008.

“When I passed the UC’s scholarship exams I feel very excited because I never have this opportunity before. I think that I am lucky that I passed the scholarship of the University of Cambodia in 2008 without paying the tuition,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly during an interview on December 16.

Heng Oddam said that he decided to apply for the scholarship to study the English Literature at The University of Cambodia because he did not want to spend his parent’s money for his study in Phnom Penh. On the other hand, he knew that UC is the best university which its educational program is very most up-to-date curriculum modeled on the modular system in the United State of America.

He added that he decided to apply for study with UC because he wanted to become an English Teacher or an English Interpreter in Cambodia in the future.

“I am interesting in English Literature since I was studying at the Tbong Khmom High School in Kampong Cham province. I decided to study English Literature because I wanted to speak English well and either become a professional English Teacher in Cambodia in future,” he said.

He added that since he has been studying English with UC so far, his English ability including writing, reading and speaking skills, has improved and he could also communicate English well with his friends as well as foreigners in Cambodia.

He emphasized that to reach his Bachelor’s degree goal, he will try to study hard, doing exercises or homework and also read books related to his studies. He also takes advantage sources like the internet, foreign newspapers and magazines to perform additional research in his area of study.

He added that he also planed to study for Master’s degree in English Literature with the University of Cambodia in future.

Taing Ratha, 20, the second year engineering student of the Institute of Technology of Cambodia, and a close friend of Heng Oddam, praised about Heng Oddam’s hard work.

Ratha said that he has known Heng Oddam since he was studying with him at grade 10 in Tbong Khmom High School in Kampong Cham province.

He added that Oddam was a hard learner and he was also one of the top tens students in his class.

“I hope that with his hard studies and hard works, he will pass his Bachelor degree with UC and he will realize his dreams and become a future good English teacher in Cambodia,” he said. ////

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nang Ravuth Spends his Live To Promote Aikido in Cambodia

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Nang Ravuth, 52, was the first Cambodian person to introduce the Japanese Aikido to Cambodia in 2002. Ravuth began his training in Aikido with a veteran Japanese coach in Cambodia in 2002 and he later became the first Aikido coach in Cambodia in 2002.

Currently, Ravuth holds a 2-black belt dans of Aikido from Japan and he is now the President of the Cambodian Aikido Club in Cambodia. Ravuth has received four-black belt dans from Japan including one black belt dan of wrestling and one black belt of Sambo in Cambodia. From 1983 to 1990, he was the Cambodian National Competitor of Wrestling, Judo and Sambo, and he has attended many international competitions of wrestling, Judo and Sambo abroad.

Nang Ravuth was a former painting artist for the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts from 1979 to 1990, and a graphic designer for UNESCO in Cambodia from 1992 to 2003.

“I spent almost for my life training and playing the sport in Cambodia. I am now spending from eight to nine hours training nearly 50 kids and adults every weekend in Phnom Penh and Kandal province,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly. “I decided to train in the sport in order to improve my health as well as to promote the sport playing and development in Cambodia.”

“I can say that Aikido was born by the cooperation between Japan International Cooperation Assistance (JICA) and the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport (MoEYS),” he said. “I am the first person who brought Aikido and the first joining Aikido in Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge’s terror regime but in the past I also heard that Aikido has been trained during the year 1970s.”

Relating to the history of Aikido, Ravuth described that Aikido is a modern martial art which Ueshiba Moribei (183-169) founded through mastering secrets of traditional martial techniques in Japan and deep spiritual training. He said that Aikido doesn’t rank superiority with other people so it has no match. It aims at the training of mind and body by repeating exercises according to the level of each trainee, so many can practice together regardless of age or sex. Repeating practice is not only good for health but also develops an aggressive mind for everything in our daily life.

Ravuth went on to say that now, Aikido is leveled in the world as a new human culture in the 21st Century. He pointed out that since the establishment of the Cambodian Aikido Club in 2002, over 400 Cambodian people have been trained in Aikido and another 150 Cambodians are training regularly every day in Cambodia.

He continued to say that since 2002, the Cambodian Aikido Club has had many trainees demonstrate and attend Aikido seminars in Japan as well as other countries in the region surrounding Cambodia.

Regarding his coaching, Ravuth states that nowadays he has been coaching in about seven different places, some of them international schools in Phnom Penh. He said that with financial support from JICA, he has established the ARK Toul Krasaing Aikido Club in Kandal province. There are now a total of 25 kids training and the training is free of charge.

“With good cooperation from JICA and MoEYS, I strongly hope that Aikido will expand countrywide and we plan to establish more Aikido clubs in Siem Reap, Battambang and Sihanouk provinces next year,” he said. “We also plan to expand our sport activities to state school, private schools, and NGOs in Cambodia.”

To promote Aikido in Cambodia, Ravuth said that he will continue to train and coach Aikido for the people in Cambodia until he dies.

According to Nang Ravuth, there are now a total of eight Aikido clubs in Cambodia. The eight Aikido clubs include the Olympic Stadium Aikido Club, the Royal University of Law and Economics’ Aikido Club, Pour un Sourire d’ Enfant’s Aikido Club, Zamam International School’s Aikido Club, ARK Toul Krasaing Aikido Club, Siem Reap Aikido Club, and International School of Phnom Penh’s Aikido Club. ///




“I Want to Become a Businesswoman to Manage My Own Business”

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

One of The University of Cambodia’s “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarship” students, Ly Souchen, 23, spoke with The Southeast Asia Weekly on December 9, describing her academic experience. Souchen is the oldest of two daughters in her family and her parents are businesspeople living in Phnom Penh, where she was born in 1988.

Ly Souchen is now studying Business Management (BM) at The University of Cambodia (UC) in Phnom Penh after passing the scholarship exams on September 22, 2007.

“I think that it is my great opportunity to have a chance [to study at] UC, which is the best university in Cambodia. I would like to thank UC’s President Dr. Kao Kim Hourn and Samdech Hun Sen so much for offering me the scholarship to study at UC,” she said. “I [am honored] and very happy to be a scholarship student of the Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen. I commit to study hard and work hard and when I graduate from UC, I will work for the development and the benefit of my country in future.”

Ly Souchen studied at Bak Touk High School in Phnom Penh and earned a Baccalaureate in 2007. She applied to study Business Management with UC following the introduction of the “Samdech Hun Sen -Handa National Scholarships” in 2007.

She said that she decided to study Business Management at UC because she wants to become a successful businesswoman running her own business in Cambodia.

“I have liked doing business since I was a child and I like studying Business Management because I wish to be a businesswoman and manage my own business in the future. I decided to study BM at UC because I hope that it helps make my dream [come true],” she said.

So far, she has learned a lot studying BM at UC. She learned how to be a business manager or a leader, how to build relationships between students, and communicating with foreign people. Her English has also improved.

“I am now very happy because my knowledge has been improving in general and my English [has] improved and I can read, write and speak English well,” she said. “I hope that my Business Management and English skills will be influential after the completion of my graduation from UC.”

Souchen added that when she completes her degree, she will then apply to study for a Master’s Degree at UC in the future. She emphasized that besides her studies, she is now looking for internships or part-time work with national and international companies or Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Cambodia.

She wants intern work so that she can learn about working and other office skills to gain useful experience prior to graduation. In addition, she can earn money to support her studies while at UC.

Po Piset, 19, a close friend to Ly Souchen, said that he appreciated Souchen’s hard work. He said that Souchen is a good learner and a friendly, honest and helpful student. “I hope that with her hard work, she will be able to complete her Business Management degree at UC in the future,” she said. “I wish her all the best of luck and success in future.” ///

Cambodia Releases the Final Result of 2009 Nation-Wide Establishments Listing

BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Ministry of Planning and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Cambodia have official released a final result of 2009 nation-wide establishment survey in Cambodia. The final result was conducted by the National Institute of Statistics in the Ministry of Planning, supported by the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Government of Japan.

Chhay Than, Senior Minister and Minister of Planning, said that because of the limited budget of the Cambodian government , the National Institute of Statistics stopped conducting the establishment survey since the completion of the ADB project in 2003.

The Minister continued to say that since finishing the ADB project, the NIS has received JICA support for conducting establishment surveys in some provinces, preparing a nation-wide establishment listing of Cambodia in 2009 and preparing the 2011 Economics Census of Cambodia in line with the Statistical Master Plan (SMP) 2008-2015.

“As you are aware, the 2009 nation-wide establishment listing of Cambodia supported technically and financially by government of Japan and JICA through the Phase II of the Project Improvement Official Statistics in Cambodia,” Chhay Than said during opening remarks at the opening ceremony on December 9 at the Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center in Phnom Penh.


The Minister went on to say that this is the first nation-wide establishment listing of Cambodia conducted by counting all establishments in Cambodia, except the agricultural, fishery and forestry establishments and mobile establishments.

“We are now producing the official data and we are releasing the final result today,” he said.

Chhay Than stated that the 2009 nation-wide establishment listing is very crucial to providing the data for compiling the national account, main indicators that allow the government to know about its economic situation in future. He added that the data not only presented the detailed aggregate information but also presented the detailed information of all of provinces, districts, communes and villages of Cambodia.

“We will produce the master frame of the establishments for economics surveys and produce census frame for the economic census of Cambodia in 2011 include all small, medium and establishments following the international standard,” he said. “Through these activities, we will improve our knowledge, skills and capacities of both NIS and provincial staff to support 2011 economic census in 2011.”

The results of the 2009 nation-wide establishment survey will provide the current situation of the economic activities of the Cambodian economy as well as fulfill general demands of data from policy makers, NGOs, private sectors, researchers, and other development partners.

The nation-wide establishment listing also provides the government the aspects of economic and social development through the activities and number of workers of the small and medium establishments, he said, adding that the result of the nation-wide establishments listing also continue to the decentralization and decocentralization activities of the Royal Government of Cambodia to support the statistical activities and preparation of the financial planning for sub-nation levels.

Yasujiro Suzuki, Chief of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Cambodia, said that it is a pleasure for JICA to have built a partnership with the Ministry of Planning, including National Institute of Statistics, in various ways. He said that JICA’s support to NIS started from dispatching Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers and a Senior Volunteer for providing technical assistance since 1999. JICA also provided training for more than 600 statistical staff through a technical cooperation project which started in 2005. Now, the Project on Improving Official Statistics in Cambodia Phase 2, started from 2007, aims primarily at capacity development of the Cambodian government to help implement general Population Census and Establishment Surveys.

“Qualified and updated official statistics help people clearly understand the socio-economic situation of a country, so that can contribute to the formulation of the appropriate development polices and the alleviation of poverty. Qualified and updated official statistics improve [the] capacity of public administration and contribute to good governance, which is one of the priority areas for JICA’s cooperation in Cambodia,” Suzuki said.

According to the final result in the 2009 nation-wide establishment listing of Cambodia, there were 376,761 establishments in Cambodia as of February 9, 2009. The number of persons engaged in these establishments was 1, 4469,712 composed of 626, 783 males accounting for 42.6 percent and 842,929 females rounding out the remaining 57.4 percent. However, males accounted for over 50 percent in establishments with two or more persons engaged. ////


KOICA Improves Cambodia’s Sustainable Socio-Economic Development

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) will continue its assistance, including financial and technical, for improving and developing sustainable socio-economic development in Cambodia, according to Son Dung-Il, Deputy Representative of KOICA Cambodia Office.

Son Dung-Il said that to promote and accelerate social development and economic growth in Cambodia, KOICA will be continuing its hard work helping the Cambodian government prepare and design poverty reduction strategies and programs in Cambodia. He added that KOICA will also continue its financial and technical assistance for development in Cambodia in order to help it become a developed and industrial country in future.

Lee Kyung-Soo, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Cambodia, said that Cambodia is one of Korea’s key partner countries in terms of Oversea Development Assistance (ODA) programs.

Lee Kyung-Soo continued to say that in the early 1990s, Korea’s grant aids to Cambodia started on a small scale, mainly in the form of humanitarian aid. However, it has increased exponentially in terms of volume, and more importantly, in term of substance since diplomatic relations between the two countries were re-established in 1997.

He stated that Cambodia now enjoys maintaining its place as one of the top major recipient countries of ODA from Korea.

In 2008 alone, the volume of Korea’s grant aid was ranked number one with more than US$13 million. It amounts to over US$33 millions in total if the EDCF loans are included.

“As you may know Korea was admitted to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) last month as its 24th member. In the history of ODA, Korea has become the first case of a recipient –turned-donor. Joining the DAC, Korea reminds itself of its responsibility to pay back to the world by sharing what they have gone through and drawing upon their experiences as a developing country and an emerging donor,” he said during opening speech delivered to the “First KOICA ODA Workshop” on December 11.

He emphasized that the Korean Government, which puts its major policy goals on building a “Global Korea” through contribution to the international community, has consistently endeavored to increase the volume and expand the scope of its development assistance.

“It is Korea’s plan to achieve a threefold increase in the volume of ODA by the year 2015. Taking these efforts into consideration, Korea will expand its cooperation programs with Cambodia in the years to come,” he said.

He added that it is apparent that Korea’s ODA to Cambodia has been in line with the priorities of the Rectangular Strategy and the National Strategic Development Program, and many projects and programs continue to be relevant to the Rectangular Strategy Phase II in this current mandate of the Cambodian government. In this framework, the demand-driven principle has been applied to all requested proposals for Korea’s ODA that reflect clearly the ownership, leadership, alignments and mutual accountability envisioned in the Paris Declaration. //

Non Communicable Diseases Threaten Cambodian Lives

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Cambodia’s Ministry of Health and World Health Organization (WHO) officials announced that the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) including cancers, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and blood pressure now are threatening Cambodian lives and affecting economic growth and social development in Cambodia.

“NCDs are still the main concern for the people in Cambodia. The diseases threatened Cambodian lives but also affected social development and economic growth in Cambodia,” said Dr. Heng Taykry, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Health.

According to a recent research study conducted by the Ministry of Health, one in ten adults have diabetes and one in four adults have high blood pressure in Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham and Battambang provinces. 12 percent have high blood pressure in Siem Reap province. In rural areas, five percent of adults have diabetes.

Dr. Heng Taykry said that diabetes and high blood pressure are serious factors which cause stroke, heart attack, neuropathy, and cardiovascular diseases. Diabetes weakenss the urinary system, eyes, and other parts of the human body. He added that most of the NCDs were caused by four main factors including alcohol, tobacco, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diets.

To reduce and prevent the diseases from happening in Cambodia, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with other ministries, WHO, and other development partners have been working hard to raise NCD awareness among people in Cambodia, according to Dr. Taykry.

He added that his ministry has carried out many policies and activities to reduce the production, exposure, marketing and sale of tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy foods. They have implemented policies to reduce salts, trans fats, and sugar in foods and to promote physical activity through policies in urban transport, parks, pedestrian facilities, and mandatory physical activity in school.

Dr. Michael Thieren, WHO’s Representative, said that Non-Communicable Diseases, mainly cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases, have become a major area of public health concern and are a high burden on the health system. He added that NCDs are now the leading burden of diseases in the Western Pacific Region and a major threat of morbidity and mortality in the world.

According to a WHO report in 2009, about 26,500 people die everyday from non communicable diseases in the Western Pacific, 200,000 of which occur in low income countries. With economic consequences of NCDs, the NCD situation is expected to worsen in countries and areas in economic transition if urgent measures are not taken.

“In Cambodia like any country in epidemiologic and demographic transition, public health is plagued by doubled burden of diseases. However, here, the issue of the Non Communicable Disease has emerged much earlier than expected, and with a much more alarming picture than in many other places,” Dr. Thieren said.

Dr. Thieren added that such measures are available: up to 80 percent of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and over a third of cancers could be prevented by eliminating shared risk factors. “WHO is supporting the NCD risk factor survey which will provide reliable population based estimates of shared risk factors of NCDs. Many of the risk factors such as unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, alcohol, tobacco, and so on are matters of concern across a variety of ministries other than Ministry of Health,” he said.

He said that two percent epidemiological surveys indicated that, in urban areas, 10 percent of adults had diabetes and 25 percent had high blood pressure, while in a poor rural community, 5 percent of adults had diabetes and 12 percent were found to be hypertensive. In total, 300, 000 Cambodians are estimated to have diabetes.

He stated that in order to respond to the NCDs epidemic, the strategic actions put forth in the Regional Action Plan for prevention and control of NCDs should be considered and adapted in Cambodia. Locally relevant policy and regulatory interventions, population based lifestyle interventions, targeted clinical interventions and supporting strategic actions must be developed and implemented to build healthy populations and community living environments that support healthy choice. ///

Cambodia Takes Measures To Prevent Human Trafficking

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The trafficking of women and children is a main concern for the countries throughout the world, and especially in Cambodia. To prevent this problem, the Royal Government of Cambodia is now working hard to prevent human trafficking.

Ing Kantha Phavi, Minister of Women’s Affairs, said that to prevent the trafficking of women and children in Cambodia, her ministry, in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitations, other relevant ministries, and concerned Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and private sectors have been working hard to promote human trafficking awareness and provide training for people throughout the country.

The Minister continued to say that the government has also ratified many of the United Nations’ conventions relating to the violation of human rights, human trafficking, child labor, sexual slavery, sexual exploitation and international crimes. She stated that the government has signed the Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with many countries in the region and also established a Cambodian National Task Force, which was led by Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng, Minister of Interior, to work on the issue of human trafficking in Cambodia.

“The Royal Government of Cambodia, under the clear leadership of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, has committed its hard work and strong willingness in preventing and fighting against human trafficking since 2000. With strong support and participation from line ministries and all involved authorities, institutions, and NGOs, the government has been conducting trainings on human trafficking for police and military police officers, court officers and other related officers in cities and provinces across the nation,” she told reporters at a press conference on the National Anti-Human Trafficking Day on December 10.

To raise awareness on human trafficking in Cambodia, the Royal Government of Cambodia has also established “National Anti-Human Trafficking Day” on December 12, 2007. Since then, Cambodia has organized this event every year, Ing Kantha Phavi said, adding that since 2003 the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, in cooperation with line ministries and other involved national and international organizations, has organized many social campaigns on domestic violence and human trafficking for the general public.

The Minister went on to say that this year, in order to celebrate the “National Anti-Human Trafficking Day”, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Somaly Mam Foundation, and Reasmey Hang Meas Company, has organized the “Anti-Human Trafficking Concert” taking place on December 12, 2009 at the National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh.

“I hope with these preventative activities and educational campaigns, all people will be aware of human trafficking, especially of women and children, and [that] they will join with the government to prevent and crack down the trafficking of women and children and sexual exploitation in Cambodia,” she said. “And finally, we can prevent human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and child abuses in Cambodia,” she added.

Chou Bun Eng, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Interior, said that recently his ministry and Vietnam’s Ministry of Security Affairs signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Standard of Operation, aiming to prevent and crackdown on trafficking of women and children illegally transported to the two countries.

According to the MoU, the two countries will be cooperating in sharing all information relating to the trafficking of women and children, sexual exploitations, and international crimes between the two countries in the future.

So far, the Ministry of Interior has cracked down a total of 109 cases of women and children trafficking in Cambodia, said Bun Eng, adding that the ministry has rescued a total of 680 trafficked people including 240 women and children. 28 girls were below the age of 15 36 girls were between 15 and 17; and the other 356 women were over 18.

He pointed out that the ministry has arrested many criminals and they were sent to court for trials and punishment in connection with their crimes.

According to a report of the United Nations, every year, 4 million women and 2 million children, mainly in Southeast Asia and thousands in Cambodia, are brought to the region for the purpose of trafficking. ////

Friday, November 27, 2009

Phnom Penh Hosts 2009 Disabled Volleyball World Cup

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Ten teams of disabled volleyball players from eight countries, including Cambodia, Canada, Germany, Slovakia, Poland, and Malaysia, will be arriving in Phnom Penh in order to attend the World Organization of Volleyball Disabled (WOVD) 2009 World Cup for six days from December 15-20.

The Cambodia 2009 WOVD Volleyball World Cup will be hosted by the Cambodian National Volleyball League (CNVLD), in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, Youth and Rehabilitation and Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen as a patron, according to Pich Piseth, CNVLD’s National Team Manager. He added that it will be sponsored by the Cellcard Company.

Piseth said that the WOVD Volleyball World Cup will take place at the National Stadium in Phnom Penh and entry is free for all people in Cambodia.

“It is the second time that CNVLD will host the disabled volleyball world cup in Cambodia and we are very honored and proud that Samdech Techo Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of Cambodia will act as patron to our Cambodian disabled volleyball players for the world cup in Cambodia,” he told reporters at a press conference in Phnom Penh on November 16.

Piseth added that the first WOVD Volleyball World Cup took place in Phnom Penh in 2007 with eight countries participating. It resulted in the Cambodian team winning third place in the competition with Germany and Slovakia winning first and second places, respectively.

Christopher Minko, Secretary General of the National Volleyball League Disabled, said that the main objective of the tournament is to compete and win the WOVD Volleyball World Cup and to promote volleyball as a sport for the disabled people of Cambodia. It is also to raise awareness about the rights of disabled people and promote their health in Cambodia.

In relation to the Disabled Volleyball World Cup, Christopher Minko said that Samdech Techo Hun Sen took the incentive to fund the Cambodian national disabled team for their competition.

According to Prime Minister Hun Sen, if the Cambodian national disabled team wins first place in the WOVD Volleyball World Cup 2009, he will award US$10,000 to each Cambodian player; if they win second place, he will award US$5,000 for each player; and if they win the fourth class of the tournament each player will receive US$2,000.

To prepare for the competition, Christopher Minko said that his organization has hired Christian Zepp, an experienced volleyball coach from Germany to train the Cambodian national team. He added that his organization has also provided payment and other financial support to the Cambodian national team while they train in Phnom Penh.

“I hope that with our Cambodian national disabled players’ hard training, talent, strong commitment and their previous playing experiences, they will able to win the first class of the WOVD Volleyball Would Cup in Cambodia. I wish them victory in this competition in Cambodia,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly during a personal interview.

Chim Chandy, 45, is a veteran disabled volleyball player for the Globe Magazine Eagles in Siem Reap province. He has been honing his volleyball skills there since 2004.

Chandy has been selected to join the Cambodian national disabled team for the 2009 WOVD Volleyball World Cup in Phnom Penh.

“I am honored and happy to be selected for the world volleyball cup in Phnom Penh. I think that it is my opportunity, and I am now training very hard every day for the competition. I will try my best to play and to win first place in the competition for my country,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly.

He continued to say that last month, his team, the Siem Reap Globe Magazine Eagles, won the “Cellcard Cambodian National Volleyball League-Champions Trophy” in an event organized by the NCVLD in Phnom Penh. ///


Cambodian and Chinese Businessmen Discuss Investment Project

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Approximately 53 businessmen from Hong Kong and Macau met with 47 Cambodian businessmen at a seminar on November 16 in Phnom Penh in search of investments and business opportunities in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

The Chinese and Cambodian Business and Investment Seminar was co-organized by the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and supported by the Embassy of the Peoples’ Republic of China in Cambodia.

Pan Sorasak, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Commerce, said in his opening remarks that the government has attached great importance to developing close friendships in the international community and that China is one of Cambodia’s closest friends.

The relationship between Cambodia and China has been building comprehensively through much cooperation in relation to the economy, trade and investment, said Sorasak. He added that the Royal Government of Cambodia receives preferential tariff treatment on 418 products, as granted by the Chinese government to Cambodia.

The Secretary of State also mentioned that in recent years, Cambodian-Chinese cooperation in trade, investment and project outsourcing was further broadened. In 2008, the bilateral trade volume reached US$794 million between the two countries. The total number of projects contracted out to Chinese companies increased to 16 with contracts totaling US$300 million.

Currently, experienced and capable Chinese enterprises are taking an active part in the hydroelectric development and road bridge constructions, which will play a very important role in Cambodian economic development, said Sorasak. He added that the Chinese government agreed to recognize the ten countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including Cambodia, as Chinese tourist destinations and recalled that in recent years, more and more Chinese citizens, including those from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, have come to Cambodia creating a large influx of foreign spending and increased employment opportunity.

“As Cambodia and China’s economies are highly complementary, there is great potential for the two countries in economic and trade cooperation. Cambodia is rich in water power, mineral products and land resources, while China is well-advantaged in capital, technology and management experience,” he said. “If the two countries keep working together to push the economic and trade cooperation on the principles of equality and mutual benefit, focusing on efficiency, exploring all kinds of cooperation and seeking cooperation, the people of the two countries will definitely continue to benefit from our endeavors.”

Kith Meng, Chairman of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, said Cambodia and China have share a rich history dating back thousands of years, though diplomatic relations only started in 1958. He said that China and Cambodia are main partners of comprehensive cooperation, supporting each other in bilateral and multilateral fields.

“We cherish this friendship and cooperation with China, and we attach great importance to this relationship and will work more closely with our counterpart to explore greater potential and to achieve reciprocal and win-win results,” he said. “In recent years, we have witnessed economic and trade cooperation and bilateral trade agreements signed by both countries. As a result, the volume of the bilateral trade in 2007-2008 between China and Cambodia reached US$ 794 million. China is the largest investor in Cambodia in the past 15 years, with total investments of over US$6 billion.”

Relating to investment and business opportunities in Cambodia, Meng said there is potential for sustainable development and investment. Cambodia’s advantages and potential for investment include agriculture, labor intensive industries, processing, tourism, mining, natural resources, cheap labor forces, infrastructures and constructions, historical heritage, and beautiful sceneries of the sea, mountains and forests.

“Cambodia is rapidly changing along with its society and shows enormous room for growth and opportunities for successful investments. Furthermore, efforts are being made to create an environment to attract and foster quality foreign investment like China to focus on our fast-growing high-value-added sectors,” he said. “Nevertheless, we still get insufficient notice from investors and thus forums like this are great stepping stones to increasing awareness of great opportunities and knowledge,” he added.

Yu Ping, Vice Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), said that many Chinese investors and businesspeople wanted to come to begin their business in Cambodia because Cambodia has a lot of potential and natural sources for investment and trade. He added that it now also has peace and political stability and due to this political stability, friendship and good cooperation, many Chinese investors and Chinese businesspeople will come to do their businesses in Cambodia in the future.

“China and Cambodia will continue to increase and improve their relationship and cooperation on investment and trading in future,” he said. “I hope that with the closest friendship and good cooperation between the two countries, more Chinese investors and businesspeople will come to begin their investments and businesses in Cambodia in the near future.”

The Vice Chairman continued to say that, so far, many Chinese investors have been coming to do their business in Cambodia. Most of Chinese business focuses on road and bridge construction, agriculture, hydroelectricity, garment industries and other private sectors in order to develop and reduce poverty in Cambodia. ///

Cambodian and Chinese Businessmen Discuss Investment Project

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Approximately 53 businessmen from Hong Kong and Macau met with 47 Cambodian businessmen at a seminar on November 16 in Phnom Penh in search of investments and business opportunities in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

The Chinese and Cambodian Business and Investment Seminar was co-organized by the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and supported by the Embassy of the Peoples’ Republic of China in Cambodia.

Pan Sorasak, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Commerce, said in his opening remarks that the government has attached great importance to developing close friendships in the international community and that China is one of Cambodia’s closest friends.

The relationship between Cambodia and China has been building comprehensively through much cooperation in relation to the economy, trade and investment, said Sorasak. He added that the Royal Government of Cambodia receives preferential tariff treatment on 418 products, as granted by the Chinese government to Cambodia.

The Secretary of State also mentioned that in recent years, Cambodian-Chinese cooperation in trade, investment and project outsourcing was further broadened. In 2008, the bilateral trade volume reached US$794 million between the two countries. The total number of projects contracted out to Chinese companies increased to 16 with contracts totaling US$300 million.

Currently, experienced and capable Chinese enterprises are taking an active part in the hydroelectric development and road bridge constructions, which will play a very important role in Cambodian economic development, said Sorasak. He added that the Chinese government agreed to recognize the ten countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including Cambodia, as Chinese tourist destinations and recalled that in recent years, more and more Chinese citizens, including those from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, have come to Cambodia creating a large influx of foreign spending and increased employment opportunity.

“As Cambodia and China’s economies are highly complementary, there is great potential for the two countries in economic and trade cooperation. Cambodia is rich in water power, mineral products and land resources, while China is well-advantaged in capital, technology and management experience,” he said. “If the two countries keep working together to push the economic and trade cooperation on the principles of equality and mutual benefit, focusing on efficiency, exploring all kinds of cooperation and seeking cooperation, the people of the two countries will definitely continue to benefit from our endeavors.”

Kith Meng, Chairman of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, said Cambodia and China have share a rich history dating back thousands of years, though diplomatic relations only started in 1958. He said that China and Cambodia are main partners of comprehensive cooperation, supporting each other in bilateral and multilateral fields.

“We cherish this friendship and cooperation with China, and we attach great importance to this relationship and will work more closely with our counterpart to explore greater potential and to achieve reciprocal and win-win results,” he said. “In recent years, we have witnessed economic and trade cooperation and bilateral trade agreements signed by both countries. As a result, the volume of the bilateral trade in 2007-2008 between China and Cambodia reached US$ 794 million. China is the largest investor in Cambodia in the past 15 years, with total investments of over US$6 billion.”

Relating to investment and business opportunities in Cambodia, Meng said there is potential for sustainable development and investment. Cambodia’s advantages and potential for investment include agriculture, labor intensive industries, processing, tourism, mining, natural resources, cheap labor forces, infrastructures and constructions, historical heritage, and beautiful sceneries of the sea, mountains and forests.

“Cambodia is rapidly changing along with its society and shows enormous room for growth and opportunities for successful investments. Furthermore, efforts are being made to create an environment to attract and foster quality foreign investment like China to focus on our fast-growing high-value-added sectors,” he said. “Nevertheless, we still get insufficient notice from investors and thus forums like this are great stepping stones to increasing awareness of great opportunities and knowledge,” he added.

Yu Ping, Vice Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), said that many Chinese investors and businesspeople wanted to come to begin their business in Cambodia because Cambodia has a lot of potential and natural sources for investment and trade. He added that it now also has peace and political stability and due to this political stability, friendship and good cooperation, many Chinese investors and Chinese businesspeople will come to do their businesses in Cambodia in the future.

“China and Cambodia will continue to increase and improve their relationship and cooperation on investment and trading in future,” he said. “I hope that with the closest friendship and good cooperation between the two countries, more Chinese investors and businesspeople will come to begin their investments and businesses in Cambodia in the near future.”

The Vice Chairman continued to say that, so far, many Chinese investors have been coming to do their business in Cambodia. Most of Chinese business focuses on road and bridge construction, agriculture, hydroelectricity, garment industries and other private sectors in order to develop and reduce poverty in Cambodia. ///