For the newest posts, please visit my new blog: http://vuthdevelop.blogspot.com/
Hun Sen speech: Day of Disabled Persons ខែធ្នូ 7, 2009
Keynote Address at the 11th Anniversary of Cambodia’s Day of Disabled Persons and 27th Anniversary of the International Day of Disabled Persons
National Education Institute, December 3rd, 2009
Your Excellencies, Senators, Members of Parliament, and Members of the Royal Government,
Your Excellencies, Ambassadors of Friend Countries to the Kingdom of Cambodia,
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen Distinguished National and International Guests,
Dear Disabled Compatriots, Teachers, and Students!
I am delighted today to be here in the 11th Anniversary of Cambodia’s Day of Disabled Persons and the 27th Anniversary of the International Day of Disabled Persons being held on December 3rd, 2009. May I take this opportunity to praise the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation and related institutions, Disability Action Council, Cambodian Organization of Disabled Persons, NGOs, the private sector, and other donors for organizing this event, as well as for the contribution in the sector of persons with disabilities and rehabilitation efforts. This shows that we strongly support persons with disabilities and encourage them to fully participate in national development effort.
I would like to take this opportunity to extend my deepest gratitude to His Majesty KING NORODOM SIHAMONI OF CAMBODIA for supporting people with disabilities. I would also like to extend my profound gratitude to His Majesty KING-FATHER NORODOM SIHANOUK OF CAMBODIA and Her Majesty KING-MOTHER MONINEATH SIHANOUK OF CAMBODIA for the kind assistance given to their people with disabilities. I would like to wish His Majesty KING, KING-FATHER and KING-MOTHER healthiness and strength to remain as the umbrella of all Cambodian people.
The theme “We all Participate in the Enforcement of Law on Protection and Promotion of Rights for People With Disabilities” of the 11th Anniversary of Cambodia’s Day of Disabled Persons and 27th Anniversary of International Day of Disabled Persons reflects our commitment in protecting the rights, freedom and benefits of disabled persons, eliminating discrimination against them, promoting mental well-being and restoring work ability to ensure they can fully and equally participate in social activities.
To address the disability issues, the Royal Government has done its utmost to integrate disabled persons into the society by promoting their access to basic needs, especially protecting their rights such as the right to life, receiving education, getting jobs, and moving around freely to enable them to fully participate in social activities to realize an inclusive social environment which is free of discrimination and based on respect of human rights and dignity.
To support this vision, the Royal Government has put forward an array of disability policies, and in particular, adopted the Law on Protection and Promotion of Rights for People With Disabilities on July 3, 2009. Moreover, the Royal Government signed the Convention and Protocol on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on October 1, 2007, joined the 2002-2013 Biwako Millennium Framework, and added its own 9th millennium development goal which is designed to accelerate demining UXOs and provide assistance to victims. Recently, the Royal Government has adopted the plan to assist landmine victims and established a national committee, chaired by the Minister of Social Affairs, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation, to oversee this task. This task is indeed essential and helps realize the objectives stated in Biwako Millennium Framework which is to integrate persons with disabilities into the mainstream society through inclusiveness and barrier-free treatment for persons with disabilities. It also complies with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Royal Government’s Policies and Rectangular Strategy.
According to the Second Population Census, the number of persons with disabilities has declined from 2% in 1998 to 1.4% in 2008. Drivers behind this decline include:
– The end of war which brought the country with full peace has helped to completely eliminate the number of disabled people from war. Along with that, high economic growth, general change of people’s living standard has also contributed to the reduction of the handicaps’ rate.
– The prioritization of the Royal Government on the sector of social works, cultures, education, health, agriculture and rural development…etc, has been fruitful such as the disability prevention program for all people, pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy, and neonatal health care, the allocation of vaccines for handicap related diseases, medical treatment, reflexology treatment, mental treatment and physical rehabilitation education, the elimination of the Polio since 1998 reduced the disability from birth.
– The result of de-mining work and the assistance provided to handicaps of mines, have remarkably reduced the number of mine dangers. In reality, the number of people involved in mine related accidents in 2005 was 875 people, 450 people in 2006, 352 people in 2007, 269 people in 2008 and 199 people in 2009, in which our goal is to continually reduce this figure.
– The strengthening of preventive measures against the traffic accidents and disability, the strengthening of traffic law enforcement, the establishment of dissemination and education measures, the creation of law enforcement mechanism, the inspiration of wearing safety helmets as well as ensuring the social order and security, the prevention and suppression of other violence in the society that lead to the disability, have also contributed, to some extent, to the reduction in the number of disabled people caused by traffic accidents.
– The strengthening of work safety measures at the construction site, factories, enterprises, and handicrafts, has also been paid attention to. The on-the-job accident insurance regime for civil servants and employees and employers of the private sector, have also been put into operation continually.
– The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation has prepared the implementation of comprehensive policies for people with disabilities with fruitful outcomes. The provision of workability service for people with disabilities has been delivered for free and many disabled people have received vocational training, have been working in factories, companies with professional ownership and also contributed to the production of goods for market demand. Along with that, the talents of people with disabilities in the sector of arts, cultures, handicrafts have also been abundant, the masterpieces that cannot be done by normal persons. The Cambodian handicapped sportsmen and sportswomen have participated in the national and international competitions and have also brought back a number of successes.
In actuality, these successes do not just only reflect the intensive struggle of the handicapped people in implementing their own rights as well as improving their living standard in families, but also show their participation in implementing the Political Platform and Rectangular Strategy-Phase II of the Royal Government.
In order to assist the handicaps to participate fully and equally in the society, the Royal Government has been boosting and encouraging in providing opportunities for handicaps to be more competent in joining the competition of the labor market, which is more lucrative to ensure sustainability of their living with ownership and dignity. In this regard, the Royal Government has been encouraging and supporting the preparation of organization or self-help group of the handicaps in order to mutually support, learn, depend on each other as well as mutual financing in jointly solving the life issues or challenging environment that they cannot solve by themselves in the framework of individual. The attention to the community basis where the handicaps are living, is greatly significant in looking for issues and real needs that handicaps are facing and jointly solve the problems and those needs are at the local community they are living in, in order to effectively contribute to the poverty reduction and vulnerability of the people.
The Royal Government has continued to promote the method of supporting the handicaps on humanitarian aid to be the supporting mechanism based on the rights of the handicap as stipulated in law on the prevention and enhancement of handicaps, especially the establishment of social safety nets in order to insure the welfare of the handicaps, which is a better way than depending on only the humanitarian aid, which cannot ensure the sustainability of the service delivery for the handicaps. In fact, the handicaps do not want to live dependently or by aid forever, but, they want to have skills and proper jobs in order that they can be more independent. The Royal Government has continued to promote the prioritized policy for allocating the social concession land for the poor families and vulnerable people, whom the handicaps are of high priorities. The Royal Government has allocated many hectares of social concession land in the Veal Thom Village, Treng Trayeong Commune, Phnom Sruoch District, Kampong Speu Province for the handicaps of about more than 300 families to build houses, do plantation and other cultivation. Recently, the Royal Government has put out the policy on the allocation of the social concession land for the retired armed forces, those who lost their working ability, become disabled, and the sacrificed families in order to improve their living while being transferred to be civilians.
My wife and I have built houses for people with disabilities at Taken Koh Sla, the bordering community between Kompong Speu and Kampot Province. We also funded US$ 1 Million for house buildings for people with disabilities in Koulen District in Siem Reap Province. The Royal Government of Cambodia has also included in the Public Investment Program for its three rolling years of the people with disabilities village development’ projects in five provinces and other house building projects in some communities. Moreover, through the Cambodia’s Veterans Association, we have built fifty houses for people with disabilities who contributed to the defense of the nation. This project will continue annually.
We have done and achieved a lot for people with disabilities, but they are still facing many obstacles in their lives that need our strong support to solve those obstacles gradually:
1st, Physical Barrier:
We should strengthen our rehabilitation services to help people with disabilities such as providing necessary tools to support their body, health services, reflexology treatment as needed with comfortability. At the same time, we should think carefully on a step by step basis on how to assist people with disabilities such as having entrance-exits for people with disabilities at public and private places, such as transportation means, at works, on the streets, at leisure areas, cultural centers, academic institutions, hotels and hospitals etc.. We should have ramp, at rest rooms, signs, including visual and vocal signs and reserved parking lots for people with disabilities.
2nd, Communication Barrier:
We should provide necessary tools to support the blinds and deaf people to communicate and receive information about our society such as education, vocational training through Braille and Sign Languages at training centers, transmitting via media channels and increase the use of information technology to people with disabilities.
3rd, Legal Barrier:
We must prepare legal documents relating to Law on Protection and Promotion of Rights for People with Disabilities such as the preparation of sub-decree, directive, Prakas of Inter-Ministerial, Ministerial Prakas for effective and timely implementation of law. We should propose for adding, changing or amending any legal document that may bar people with disabilities to fully participate in the society.
4th, Social Barrier:
We should raise awareness about the disability to local communities to prevent, reduce and abolish all forms of discrimination and stigma against people with disabilities. Moreover, we must encourage the multi-parties’ participation in the promotion of rights for people with disabilities.
In fact, we have many duties to carry out, to act together to resolve any problems for people with disabilities so that they can fully participate with equity in the society, to be able to compete freely, independently with dignity in the labor market.
Within this context, I would like to raise some recommendations as follow:
1.Strengthen and expand the disability preventive measures more effectively by reducing the venerability in the society, preventing violence, traffic accidents, work related accidents, strengthening health system, demining and UXOs, strengthening of workability rehabilitation and raising awareness on the prevention of disability.
2. Effectively promote the Law on Protection and Promotion of Rights for People with Disabilities. I strongly support the theme of People with Disabilities’ Day 2009 that goes “We all participate in the enforcement of Law on Protection and Promotion of Rights for People with Disabilities”.
This law is the most meaningful legal instrument that response to the urgent needs as well as long term needs of people with disabilities. This law will change the humanitarian like handicap’s services to a systematic social insurance services for people with disabilities.
To implement this law more effectively, the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation must raise the awareness of this law comprehensively to all people across the country. Similarly, we must prepare relevant legal documents and mechanisms for law enactment in a timely manner. The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation is a key implementing agency in making sure all articles of this law is respected accordingly and effectively.
3. The key to handicap related tasks is to strengthen and to increase the spirit of ownership of people with disabilities. Within this regards, May I urge all people with disabilities to sharpen their braveness, hope and self-confidence, using their remaining physical ability to overcome any difficulties, raising their standard of living independently as well as contributing to the national development.
4. Continue to mobilize resources to develop the welfare sector for people with disabilities. I encourage development partners to support the disability sector and to consider creating the disability policy which focuses on providing services to people with disabilities. Similarly, I encourage the private sector to participate in disability related works voluntarily and obligatorily as stated in the Law on Protection and Promotion of Rights for People with Disabilities by including the disability issues in its activities and help people with disabilities integrate themselves at the maximum level.
5. The Ministry of Social Affairs Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation and relevant ministries/institutions of all levels must efficiently and sustainably continue strengthening handicap related tasks and improving workability rehabilitation and be focal point for implementing national policy for people with disabilities and promote effective enforcement of Law on Protection and Promotion of Rights for People with Disabilities. Sub-national administration of all levels must pay attention to handicap related tasks, incorporate it into the action plan of sub-national administration and ensure its efficient implementation.
6. Continue humanitarian activities for poor people with disabilities who are facing real hardship at local areas, in this sense I would like to appeal to members of the government, national assembly, senate and the kind-hearted to keep helping and supporting poor people with disabilities at local areas, who are in bad need of support
7. Continue strengthening and expanding sustainable physical workability rehabilitation service to people with disability. According to information I received, international organizations who are managing 11 physical workability rehabilitation centers will complete their projects in 2011 and will transfer the management of the centers to the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation. The transfer has been gradually started since 2008. On behalf of the government I would like to convey my deep appreciation to 5 organizations namely Veterans International, Handicap International Belgium, Handicap International France, The Cambodia Trust and International Red Cross for support for 11 physical workability rehabilitation centers and left with basic material, human resource and technique…etc… for sustainable conduct of the centers.
Finally, May I wish all Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, national and international guests, dear compatriots, teachers, students and veterans the four Gems of Buddhist Blessings: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.
Build Bright University is one of the few largest and leading private universities in Cambodia with its eight Study Center nationwide – one in Phnom Penh and others Siem Reap, Sihanouk Ville, Ratanakiri, Battambang, Takeo, Banteay Meanchey and Strung Treng provnices. BBU is enhancing the Cambodian population to reach the path of excellence of the bright future by providing valuable education with its pool of qualified human resources together with the modern equipment and facilities. The university offers different levels of education ranging from Associate, Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degrees as well as vocational training programs with varieties of specializations. The university continues to build its capacity and it intends to open new faculties or branches or specialties in the future.
TONLE BASAC CAMPUS
Tonle Basac Building (Main Campus) :
Grey building, Samdech Sothearos blvd.,
near Samdech Hun Sen Park, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel: +855-23 987 700
Fax: +855-23 987 900
SIEM REAP CAMPUS
Phum Viheachen, Svay Dangkum Commune,
Siem Reap District, Siem Reap Province
Tel: +855-63 963 300
Fax: +855-63 963 300
SIHANOUK VILLE CAMPUS
Ekreach Street, Sangkat 4,
Khan Mitapheap, Sihanouk Ville
Tel: +855-34 934 024
Fax: +855-34 934 026
Phum5, Khum Labansiek
Banlung Distrct, Ratanikri Province
Opposite Kanseng Lake
Tel: +855-75 974 064
Phum Chamkar Samroang 2,
Khum Chamkar Samroang,
Battambang District.Battambang Province,
Tel: +855-53 39 39 75
Sok Leap Building, Phum 1,
Khum Rokakhnung, Dounkeo District
Tel: +855-32 931 031
BANTEAY MEANCHEY CAMPUS
Phum O Ambel, Khum O Ambel,
Srok Serei Sophoan,
Banteay Meanchey Province
on dived read from National
Road#5 to Chamkar Khnol pagoda
250m west of Phnom Svay
Tel: +855-54 958 300
Stung Treng Campus
Phum Thmor Leat,
Sangkat Srah Russey Krong Stung Treng,
Khet Stung Treng Next to Kuang Chong Chinese Language School
Tel: +855-74 973 663
Cambodian Nuclear Scientist ខែធ្នូ 6, 2009
HIS EXCELLENCY MR. KEAT CHHON
MINISTER OF ECONOMY AND FINANCE
SENIOR MINISTER IN CHARGE OF REHABILITATION
I. PERSONAL DATA
Date of Birth
11 August, 1934
Place of Birth
Married, 1 Daughter, 1 Son
Khmer (Native), French (Fluent), English (Fair)
II. ACADEMIC RECORD
Economic Development Institute of the World Bank, Washington D.C., USA
1954 – 1961
Trained in Paris, France
– Naval Architect (Paris)
– Marine Engineer (Paris)
– Nuclear Engineer (Paris)
III. PROFESSIONAL RECORD
From October 1994
Senior Minister in Charge of Rehabilitation and Development, Vice Chairman of CDC, Minister of Economy and Finance
From Nov. 1993
Senior Minister in Charge of Rehabilitation and Development, RGC
July – October 1993
Deputy Prime Minister of the PNGC
Elected as MP
Adviser to SOC Government in Phnom Penh
Oct 1992 – Jan 1993
1988 – 1992
Chief Technical Adviser of UNIDO (HQ in Vienna)
1984 – 1988
Manager for International Operations of CIEE (a private company in Paris)
1970 – 1975
Minister of Prime Minister’s Office of The RGUNC
1967 – 1969
Minister of Industry (and Minister of Commerce) of the RGC
1964 – 1968
Founder and President of Royal University of Kampong Cham
1961 – 1964
Chief Engineer of Public Works, General Manager of ODEM
NB 1975 – 1979
Slave Labor; Family Scattered, its members were taken as hostages
1979 – 1983
Cambodia – Thai Border
Eva Smedberg development partner rep. addressed during NCDD AWBP 2009
Your Excellency Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sar Kheng;
Your Excellency Sr. Minister Keat Chhon, Minister of Economy and Finance;
Your Excellencies Ministers and Secretaries of State, NCDD
Your Excellencies Provincial Governors of the Royal Government of Cambodia;
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
On behalf of development partners supporting the D&D reforms, I would like to begin by congratulating the Royal Government of Cambodia on the success of the two-day National Workshop and formulation of the 2009 annual workplan and budget. We would like to recognise the achievements that have been made in the past year and the ambitious programme agreed for the year ahead.
When we talk about the past – we cannot underestimate the positive impact of the decentralisation reforms. The creation of directly elected commune councils in 2002 was a key milestone for creating the conditions for lasting peace in Cambodia. The reforms over the last decade have started a process where the local government is increasingly accepted as a legitimate authority, able to deliver some services and bring local development. It has opened up positive dialogue between citizens and created a seed of democratic culture. This has been a tremendous achievement – and one that has been led by the Cambodian government rather than something which has been externally imposed.
When we look to the future – the Organic law presents a unique opportunity to build on the Communes’ experience and capacity as well as the democratic legitimacy and accountability they enjoy due to their direct election.
This is truly a watershed moment. The Organic Law represents a major innovation – it has the potential to change governance arrangements and the reallocation of power and decision making over service delivery.
Over the next year, rules and procedures for new sub-national councils will be designed, and new councils will be elected. The existence of elected Councils at Provincial and District levels, which are empowered to oversee the operation of unified administrative structures and budget at each level, will change existing arrangements for democratic control and accountability. This is essential and welcomed.
However, for development partners with discretionary funds, one of the most critical issues will be these governance arrangements and mechanisms for allocating funds. As you can imagine, if funds are not to be assigned or earmarked to sectors by the donor, then it will be essential to ensure that the governance mechanism – and particularly the Councils – can be held to account for the decisions made.
We recognise the Government’s stated intention with the planned creation of the new National Committee for Democratic Development – which we applaud.
I’d now like to turn to some more specific issues that will be the focus for the next year. The first is around the National Programme design process. The second is linked to development partner commitments and mutual expectations for 2009.
On the National Programme, we would like to encourage the Government to use the design as an opportunity to have an open process where options and trade offs are debated and discussed. By ensuring the participation of different actors, Government can promote the design of a programme that is inclusive, broadly accepted by stakeholders, and provides a basis for both poverty reduction and strengthened democratic accountability.
The NCDD has already made important steps towards ensuring wide support for the reform process through its mechanism to involve civil society. And we very much welcome this.
We would also like to encourage the consistent participation of the sector ministries. One should not underestimate the support sector ministries will need to actively engage in the decentralisation and deconcentration reform process and understand the benefits of assigning functions and resources to the subnational level. This links with the wider issue of building human resources and capacity at both the national and subnational levels.
My last point on the national programme is to appreciate and respect the importance of national ownership. Developing a strategic approach to communications where stakeholders – such as Ministries and civil society – are brought together at key points during the design process for information sharing, discussion and debate may help facilitate this.
Before I close, let me now turn to the specifics of the 2009 Annual Workplan and Budget. As the morning session yesterday showed, development partners are expected to provide almost US$65 million to support the NCDD AWPB next year. The fact that we are continuing to provide significant funds to the provincial, district and commune levels is an important demonstration of our continued support for the D&D reform process.
With our increased funding there are some expectations, however:
First, a crucial issue is the amount of central government contributions to the line departments at the subnational level. It will be important for the Royal Government to demonstrate political and financial commitment by assigning functions, designing the intergovernmental fiscal transfer system for the new Councils that will be in place from May 2009.
Second, is the importance of improving the monitoring and evaluation system so that we have an open means of jointly assessing what is or is not working – be it around greater political accountability and voice at the local level or the more responsive delivery of services.
And finally – as Article 98 of the Organic Law requires that the District Council is accountable to the Communes and citizens – it will be important that arrangements for implementing other areas of the Organic Law are consistent with this or risk undermining it.
For our part – the Royal Government can expect development partners to make a step change in harmonisation and alignment once the National Programme has been designed. This should trigger a reduction in separate reporting and monitoring frameworks thereby reducing the burden on government and strengthening national ownership.
Let me close by saying that, on behalf of development partners, we are pleased to be a part of this ambitious D&D reform process. Development partners are acutely aware that the D&D process is a long term endeavour. We believe that by working together we can increase democratic accountability and poverty reduction in the years ahead.
Phnom Penh, 10 September 2008.
Selected Comments at the Inauguration of the Kampot Cement Factory in the Province of Kampot’s Dantung District
14 January 08
It is indeed my great pleasure to return to this site after my presence on January 26, 2006. This time we inaugurate a new factory to put into official cement production in Cambodia. HE Suy Sem, Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy already mentioned in his report that this achievement has come into existence thanks to joint venture between the Siam Cement Group, the biggest cement production group from the Kingdom of Thailand, and the Khaou Chuly Group from the Kingdom of Cambodia.
The construction costs about 93 million US dollars with its initial production of 960,000 tons annually with a 21 megawatt electric power station. I would say that we have made the cake right at the time that we all need to eat. I mean 29 years after the fall of the Pol Pot’s genocide, Cambodia has for the first time produced cement by itself or after the trial priod of cement production under the time of Sangkumreast Niyum – Chakrey Ting – under the leadership of Samdech Preah Karun Preah Bat Norodom Sihanouk.
We did produce for quite a while the P-400 high quality cement, but the production did not make any profit. When HE Som Chen was the Governor of Kampot, I also came to see the factory at Chakrey Ting. We flew the Soviet experts to conduct a feasibility study. They said that if we were to produce 50,000 tons of cement, it would cost us also 50,000 tons of oil. So we decided to import cement from South Korea instead to Cambodia because to produce cement using the outdated setup and technology is unprofitable and unaffordable.
We now have set up a new factory on a new location and as I said earlier we could bring the production to 960,000 tons per year or about 40% of local demand, which has been estimated to be about 2.4 million tons per annum.
This achievement is not only something new for the people only in Kampot province but also for the Royal Government and people of Cambodia throughout the country as well. It is indeed a private investment. In this world, except a few countries that are left with state ownerships, for most of the countries the private sector has a role to play as a locomotive for economic growth or the sector that produces according to demand of the consumers.
Demand for construction materials in our country has gone bigger and perhaps 2.4 million tons of cement would be deficient, because take for instance the construction of CamkoCity project would need a lot of cement and we are bracing for 42 and 55 storey skyscrapers in addition to our people’s needs for housing construction, etc. I would like to take this solemn occasion to express my sincere appreciation for the K-Cement Company that is making great efforts to put into place a fruitful achievement as such along the line of the Royal Government’s triangular through to rectangular policy/strategies while placing high urgent need for socio-economic development where the private sector is taking the lead in the country’s economic growth.
I also take this opportune moment to express my sincere appreciation to the Kampot province authority as well as the districts’ authorities that are adjacent to the factory – Banteay Meas and Dang Tung districts with communes under their administrative supervision. I do not know if you agree with me but I have the vision that Kampot is the province where it is known for three products, along the line of one village one product concept. Firstly Kampot is the only province in the Kingdom that salt is produced. Thanks to the understanding of the Republic of Korea we will be able to renovate the national road 3 from Kampot to Phnom Penh and I will be coming again in March for that matter.
Secondly, Kampot is now making itself known as the only province in the Kingdom to produce cement (K-Cemnet or Kampot Cement) and we will have another factory by the Thai Boon Rong Group and the Chakrei Ting Group that produce cement also in the future. It is not appropriate to understand that where there is natural rock, we can produce cement at all. In Cambodia, some rock is not even durable for building road because of its premature level. In some other places we have rock that can be used for different purposes but they have been placed under protective zone because of their close relation to the country’s history. Most of the rock mountain that can be used for producing cement lies in the province of Kampot.
Thirdly, we will soon have electricity in the area of Phnom (mountains of) Kamchai. This product can also be exported to other province, especially its 193 MW could support demand for electricity in the whole city of Phnom Penh. It is in this remark that I see that Kopmpot will be a province of three major products – salt, cement and electricity.
Indeed what also caught my attention is the fact that the factory will be providing some 520 jobs among which 170 are going to be those students graduated from the university and specialized training institutions and 350 others will be our people in general. It is important for us to start redressing the trade imbalance in anyway we can or we will face this situation that we depend solely on imports. Having done so we could, if the amount of production (of cement) exceeds the amount needed locally, export the rest to foreign market, while creating jobs for our graduates and people.
Some people make so and so complaints but they should know that building a factory to produce cement is not a complete task within one or two days but more than two years already. And we have just started the first stage of production and we will have to wait and see the second stage that requires follow-up investment of another 100 million US dollars so as to upgrade the production system to increase the production to over two million tons of cement per annum. By then we will be able to address about 70% of the country’s requirement of cement. But if at that time our need for cement rises to five million tons, the expected increase will be addressing only 30% of local demand.
We have reduced the use of woods in construction therefore we have increase demand for cement. Talking about this why it is under my leadership to have some of the naturally-defunct lakes filled is wrong. The place where my house in Phnom Penh is located is formerly a lake called Boeung Raing. It was filled so as to build a city. Take another example the area where we now build the new National Assembly building, it was before a river shore where HE Chea Soth and Samdech Moha Akka Punnhea Chakrei Heng Samrin caught fishes and grew vegetables.
However, in some other places if development is not in accordance with the general environmental norm, take for instance the Long Chheng Group’s building in the water reservoir of Ta Mork, which blocked the water way, we would not allow either. While some reservoirs or other forms of natural recollection system of water are not causing obstacle or damage to the ecosystem and there is a need for drainage to be built, we will have to make a decision on that.
Coming back to the cement factory here, aside from the jobs created for those who will have to perform duties inside the factory, it also provides sideline jobs for people involved in cement business. I would urge that attention must be paid to transportation of cement too, as overload and overweight vehicle will cause damages to our roads. We will not be able to make profit to mend those damages. We cannot afford to gain from cement but to lose on damaging roads.
It is indeed true that we are making local production so as to reduce imports but we must think about quality and guarantee affordable price. We cannot, in the market economic system and globalization and as a member of the World Trade Organization, ban imports from other countries in protection of local production and I hope we all understand this well. You cannot later on come to the Government and say look my factory is to fall down because of external competition. Quality and affordable price will be a push in local market. If you fail to guarantee quality, no one will buy your product. If you give similar quality to those imported from other countries, the market will not be good either because customers will buy those imported cement instead.
We will guarantee that there will be a fair competition in our market. The local authority and other related institutions will have to prevent the tax evasion of cement especially, and all other items in general. The price of tax evaded cement could be lower to a level the local production would not be competitive anymore. Loss from tax evasion, especially in this case would on the one hand lead to loss of tax income and on the other killing local production. You may need to remember that.
I would also remind the company that it has to maintain good relation with local authority for its activities of quarrying rocks because it is the matter of safety. Quarrying could produce strong explosion sound and scarify people. All explosives should be prepared according to the norm stipulated and seriousness must be applied in controlling and managing them since it could be a serious issue and a grave security issue for the country when it falls into the hands of terrorists.
In addition to this I would urge the factory to consider creating more jobs opportunity since we have more graduates who could be of use in this kind of operation, especially when the production system expands. I would urge prioritized demand for those students who would like to conduct their researches about the factory since it is the first of its kind in the country and it would be a plus for them to analyze the possibility of technology transfer, management, productive system, etc.
Another area that needs to be addressed is the possibility of exporting cement to outside market take for instance Guanxi’s Nanning of the China where demand for cement has gone up to about six million tons while we locally need only two to three million tons. If we produce more we could look at the market in China and a thorough market study should be conducted.
Last but not least I urge you to apply the art of sharing so that people in the vicinity of the factory will have a better life. For instance I ask on my people’s behalf that the K-Cement Group provide lighting to the roads, schools, hospitals and pagodas … Thank you very much. They just said to me they agreed to do so. I would be grateful if you could do that before the Khmer New Year because our people will be enjoying the Ramvong (circling) dance.
I am so happy today that we have a new product in place and it is indeed contrary to what ill-willed politicians say that the country has gone poorer. I am sure our people can make judgment on what could be the truth because they have been able to practice religious belief while they could not do before; they have children graduated from university and make their livings for example from working in this factory while it could not be even dreamed of under the Pol Pot’s genocide, etc. I am grateful to the CPP working group who help people in the district of Dang Tung and Banteay Meas and I am sure they have made more achievements that we have yet the time to officiate them.
Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen on that occasion offered a school building of six classrooms to the Primary School of Thmor Dob, a school building of six classrooms to the Hun Sen College of Tropaing Tranh, Dang Tung district, a school building of six classrooms for the Primary School of Prey Bantoan.
Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone ខែធ្នូ 5, 2009
The post have been moved to: http://vuthdevelop.blogspot.com/2009/12/phnom-penh-special-economic-zone.html