Issue: 165
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06 March 2015

INDEX

  1. United States First Lady To Visit Cambodia

  2. Annual National Culture Day Celebration

  3. PM Re-affirms Cambodia's Stance over Acceptance of Refugees from Australia

  4. Ruling and Opposition Parties Agee on Election Law Amendment

  5. Word Bank Supports Commerce Ministry's Reforms

  6. Cambodia Receives US$4 Billion Investment Projects

  7. Canada Wishes to Invest in Electricity Sector in Cambodia

  8. Japanese Investment in Cambodia Increases Steadily

  9.  

 

United States First Lady To Visit Cambodia

H.E. Ms. Michelle Obama, First Lady and Spouse of H.E. Mr. Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, will pay an official cultural visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia from 20 to 22 March 2015, according to a press release of the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation dated 3 March.

“The Royal Government of Cambodia wishes to cordially welcome her visit and hopes the important visit will also strengthen the bond of friendship and cooperation between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the United States of America,” underlined the press release.

 

 

Annual National Culture Day Celebration

The celebration of the 17th Annual National Culture Day (3 March) under the theme “Youths for Culture” and the closing ceremony of the National Youth Arts Festival,was held at Chaktomuk Conference Hall, Phnom Penh, on 3 March 2015.

On the occasion, PM SamdechTecho Hun Sen called on senior artistes and mass media, especially local TV stations, to produce more national arts programs to enhance and preserve the country's tradition and culture.

The Cambodian premier expressed his support to the celebration of the National Culture Day and the National Youth Arts Festival, stressing that the events will continue inspiring the public, especially the youths, to understand more clearly about the real value of the national culture, the non-drying source for employment and opportunities in the national economic development.

 

 

PM Re-affirms Cambodia's Stance over Acceptance of Refugees from Australia

Cambodian Prime Minister SamdechTecho Hun Sen re-affirmed on 26 February 2015 the government's stance over the acceptance of refugees from Australia, underlining that that it will be made on the voluntary basis, reported AKP.

“There were comments and criticisms over this issue, both in Australia and Cambodia, but I would like to stress that it will be made on the voluntary principle,” said SamdechTecho Hun Sen at the opening ceremony of the International Conference on “Responsibility to Protect at 10: Progress, Challenges and Opportunities in Asia Pacific” under the theme of “Cambodia Plays Roles as a Forerunner to Prevent Atrocities in ASEAN Regions”.

The Cambodian premier has clarified this case many times, including the response to the First Vice-President of National Assembly H.E. KemSokha regarding the decision around taking into Cambodia the refugees from Australia, said AKP.

The premier highlighted the following eight-point reason, which the government based on to decide to accept the refugees:

1. Cambodia is a party to the 1951 International Convention on Refugees, which requires Cambodia to have the obligations to accept the refugees in accordance with the international convention.

2. According to Cambodia's Sub-Decree No. 224 dated Dec. 17, 2009 on the procedures in examining, recognizing and granting refugee status or asylum to foreigners in the country.

3. Accepting refugees for resettlement in Cambodia in accordance with the spirit of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Government of Australia relating to the settlement of refugees in Cambodia, and the sub-decree on the procedures in examining, recognizing and granting refugee status or asylum to foreigners in Cambodia is nothing new for Cambodia, because Cambodia has so far accepted 85 asylum seekers and refugees, including 16 asylum seekers and 69 refugees from Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Palestine, Iraq, Sudan, Congo and Somalia.

4. Accepting the refugees in conformity with the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Government of Australia relating to the settlement of refugees in the country is based on the voluntary and humanitarian principle. Therefore, the refugees who come to Cambodia need to have written consent without coercion.

5. In accepting the refugees from Australia, the Australian side must cover the expenses including transport of refugees to Cambodia, temporary accommodation, food, clothing, daily translation services, and well-being guarantee for the period of five years, and a one-year support in the integration into the Cambodian community and continue to help refugees who do not yet have the ability to live on their own according to each actual case.

6. The Australian Government will also assist the communities where refugees live.

7. Within one year after leaving the temporary accommodations, if the refugees ask for repatriation or to resettle in any other country, Australia will assist their repatriation to the country of origin or to any other country where the refugees have the right of resettlement.

8. A large number of the Cambodian people were the refugees in the past, and some countries including Australia, which is a party to the 1951 International Convention on Refugees, received many Cambodian refugees as well.

 

 

Ruling and Opposition Parties Agee on Election Law Amendment

H.E. SarKheng (left) and H.E. Sam Rainsy prior to the CPP-CNRP meeting

The ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have settled all the remaining disagreed points on the draft amendment to the election law, according to the joint statement released after the four-hour discussion held on 28 February 2015.

The CPP side was headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior H.E. SarKheng, and the CNRP side was led by its President H.E. Sam Rainsy.

Besides, CPP and CNRP also agreed in principle to study the issues related to the ensuring of sustainability and regularity of the national institution in order to prevent the deadlock after the next elections, it added.

Both sides also agreed to organize consultation workshops on the draft proposed laws on election and on the functioning of the National Election Committee in the near future, the press release pointed out.

 

 

Word Bank Supports Commerce Ministry's Reforms

In a meeting on 26 February, Mr. Alassance Sow, Country Manager & Trade Task Team for the World Bank Cambodiatold Minister of Commerce Sun Chanthol of the World Bank's support and assistance to ensure that Ministry of Commerce's reforms are timely implemented, informed and reflected by the private sector to improve the economic ranking of Cambodia on the ease of starting a business. He also spoke about agricultural productivity and other challenges that need to be addressed, so as to increase the volume of the rice exports from Cambodia, reported AKP.

For his part, H.E. Sun Chantol expressed his appreciation to the World Bank for its continuous support and informed the World Bank that much more effort and focus will be put into CamControl in order to improve its role as an effective future food safety and consumer protection unit.

In addition, he also sought the World Bank's support for the Provincial Private Sector Forums initiated by his ministry in order to raise awareness about the ASEAN Economic Community.

 

 

Cambodia Receives US$4 Billion Investment Projects

Last year, many local and foreign investment projects were registered in Cambodia with a total value of about US$4 billion, said H.E. SokChendasophea, Secretary General of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), adding that the figure was similar to that in 2013, reported AKP on 27 February.

Most of the investment projects were invested by local companies, followed by those from China, Malaysia and Japan, he saiod, adding that the majority of the investments were found in the fields of garment and footwear, tourism, agriculture, and construction.

 

 

Canada Wishes to Invest in Electricity Sector in Cambodia

Canada is willing to strengthen its cooperation with Cambodia in the fields of trade and economy, particularly to invest in electricity sector in Cambodia.

Cambodian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation H.E. Ouch Borith told reporters after his meeting with visiting H.E. Peter MacArthur, Director General for South, South East Asia and Oceania Bureau at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Development of Canada, according to AKP on 2 March 2015.

Canada will consider appointing a diplomat for a permanent mission in Cambodia to enhance the bilateral cooperation between both nations, he added.

Canada also pledged to continue providing assistance to mine clearance in Cambodia through HALO Trust, H.E. Ouch Borith said, recalling that Canada has so far provided some US$3 million to support the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

 

 

Japanese Investment in Cambodia Increases Steadily

Investment figures from the Council for Development of Cambodia's Japan desk show that Japanese investment in Cambodia between 1994 and July 2014 was $822 million. While investment from 1994 to 2010 was only $236 million, that figure more than doubled over the past three and a half years as Japanese businesses have poured $586 million into the Kingdom's economy, wrote the Phnom Penh Post on 28 February 2015

Taro Tanzaki, who is a project formulation adviser for the Japan International Cooperation Agency and works at the CDC's Japan desk, said Japanese investment in Cambodia has increased steadily and that there are 246 small Japanese companies registered at the Ministry of Commerce.

Masashi Kono, in charge of the research section at the Japanese External Trade Organization and the Japan Business Association in Cambodia, said that the number of JBAC member businesses had reached 191 by the start of this year. That tally includes companies from sectors as varied as manufacturing, construction and real estate, and financial and insurance services.

“These companies could become the benchmark for Cambodian companies,” he said. “More and more Japanese companies are starting manufacturing operations in Cambodia, so this trend will continue.”

 

 

 

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