BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA
Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen has said tourism is a locomotive for the social development and the economic growth in Cambodia. It has also vowed to accelerate the economic growth as Cambodia is one of the most wanted tourism sites in the world.
The Premier continued to say that tourism has become a priority sector for economic policy and is a locomotive for sustainable socio-economic development and the progress of Cambodia.
“Cambodia is in a process to develop itself into a cultural, social and natural tourism center in Southeast Asia that is considered the most developed tourism in the world,” he said during an inauguration ceremony of the “Phnom Penh- Daegu-Gyeong Buk Culture, Tourism, Trade and Promotion Center” in Phnom Penh on January 26.
Samdech Techo Hun Sen said the political and social stability and peace being enjoyed by Cambodia people and the country are one of the factors that attract more tourists to this country. He added that in 2008, 2.1 million foreign tourists visited Cambodia, an increase of 5.5 percent compared to a year earlier, and within 11 months in 2009, there were 1.9 million, an increase of 1.6 percent if compared to 2008.
While the number of foreign tourists visiting Cambodia gradually increased on a yearly basis, Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen was also satisfied with the figure that showed 6.7 million local tourists traveled around the country in 2008. He added that in 2004, Cambodia earned only US$578 million, but it earned as much as US$1.5 billion in 2008, and employed more than 30,000 Cambodians.
On January 26, Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen also inaugurated the Cambodia-South Korean Culture and Trade Center which is officially called “Phnom Penh Daegu-Gyeong Buk Culture, Tourism, Trade and Promotion Center,” in Phnom Penh.
The center, which is a symbol of the closest relationship between the two countries and located at the corner of Sihanouk and Sothearos Boulevards in Chamcarmon district, Phnom Penh, was completely constructed by South Korean DK& CCo., LTD with total expenditure of US$8.7 million.
Relating to the establishment of the “Phnom Penh Daegu-Gyeong Buk Culture, Tourism, Trade and Promotion Center”, Samdech Hun Sen has praised the good cooperation and relation between the countries. He said that Korea plays a very important role for Cambodia’s development through grants, loans and investments in all sectors, especially the financial sectors, other infrastructures and in the exchange of culture through events and the visiting of Korean citizens in Cambodia.
The Premier added that this center will have varied uses and help foster South Korean investments including a conference hall, commercial mall, and a place which provides important information for the local and foreign investors between Cambodia and Korea and other countries in the world. ///