Cambodia to let 62 Vietnamese refugees stay longer

Cambodia said Friday it will allow 62 Vietnamese refugees to stay in the country a few more weeks as a favor to the U.N. refugee agency but believes they no longer face any danger in Vietnam and can be sent back.

Cambodia previously gave the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees a New Year’s Day deadline to close a refugee compound in the Cambodian capital. But the country will now give the agency until Feb. 15 instead, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said.

“Vietnam is speeding up its economic growth. There is no war and no bombs, therefore Vietnam should not have any refugees,” Hor Namhong told reporters. “For the refugees who have not been granted asylum, they must be sent back to Vietnam. They cannot stay in Cambodia.”

The Foreign Ministry notified the UNHCR this month it planned to shut the housing compound Jan. 1 and send the residents home. Cambodia wants to close the compound in Phnom Penh to deter more arrivals.

The UNHCR pleaded for a little more time to help resettle the refugees.

“We’ll do them a favor. Prime Minister Hun Sen decided to postpone the deadline,” the foreign minister said.

Thousands of hill tribe people known as Montagnards fled to Cambodia since 2001, when Vietnam cracked down on protests against land confiscation and religious restrictions.

The current group is the last batch of asylum-seekers from 1,812 Vietnamese hill tribe people taken in by the UNHCR since 2006. The agency has resettled 999, mostly in the United States, and sent 751 home.

Many Montagnards sided with the United States during the Vietnam War, attend Protestant churches not recognized in Vietnam and are generally distrusted by the communist government.

Associated Press

UAE, Cambodia initial Air Services Agreement

DUBAI – The United Arab Emirates, represented by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) initialed an Air Services Agreement (ASA) with the Kingdom of Cambodia in Phnom Penh on December22th, 2010.

It is the first time such an agreement is initialed between the two countries, said GCAA in an emailed statement.

The agreement was initialed by Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and Chea Aoun, the Director General of the Secretariat for Civil Aviation of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

The UAE Delegation designated Etihad Airways, Emirates Airline, Air Arabia RAK Airways, and FlyDubai as UAE designated carriers to operate the agreed services between the two countries.

The agreement grants each of the designated carriers one daily flight with third and fourth freedom traffic rights between the two countries and the right to exercise full fifth freedom traffic rights through three (3) intermediate points (Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore) and to three points beyond to be freely selected by the designated carriers.

The two delegations agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding in UAE during the first quarter of 2011.

Television Commercial

By SUN Narin

Most of Cambodia’s people throughout the country living in the remote and the countryside are now able to have an access to television. To date, there have been nine television stations nationwide including Cambodian Television Network (CTN), Bayon, SEATV (Southeast Asian Television), Municipal TV3, TVK, Khmer TV9, Khemarak Phomin TV5, Apsara and MYTV stations. All of the stations have been competing with one another to be the most popular and watching. Some of which are becoming the most leading TV stations such as CTN, MYTV, Bayon, and TV5. According to TV market index survey conducted in Phnom Penh issued in October 2010, CTN is the most leading station accounting for 45 percent; MYTV, TV5 and Bayon respectively for 14%, 10% and 9 percent (see the attached document).

Since people are aware that television is very efficacious and large audience-reached medium, the product owners or companies decide to promote their products on television and try to make advertisement appealing to the watchers. A lot of products are displayed and broadcast on television every day to the audience during dramas and concerts. This leads to the recently rapid increase in the television advertisement. However, what is the concern is that how can the television stations make all these advertisings effective?

I think and most people support my idea that advertising on leading television is a clever strategy to make the products be known to the audience and best-selling after the promotion. One more important thing to consider is the way that all the television stations present the commercial to the watchers effectively. I have got some document concerning the TV advertisement cost of three TV stations including CTN, Bayon and TV5 (see the attached document). According to CTN and Bayon advertising manager, the cost is charged differently given the length time of the spots and types of programs such as drama or concert. Television stations play an important role in presenting the advertising spots to the watchers. For example, they have to know what time that they should advertise such kinds of certain products. How many products have to be advertised for a certain break? Otherwise, the advertisements will not be effective and watched by the people. However, I think that people are not satisfied with these advertising on recent TV because it is too much.

To illustrate this, one example of Cambodian Television Network is raised. I agree that CTN is very effective for advertising since a large number of people all over the country watch this television. Due to the fact that most people, especially the young aged, prefer to watching concert than drama, a lot of ad are advertised in this program in the purpose of attracting the audience. During the break, they display a lot of advertisements which take long minutes and when the spot finishes, they also let the presenters take some time to say about the products in the program. So does the advertisement in the drama. The full story is short and the advertisement takes long time. For example, the sequence of drama is 1 hour with 4-time break and one time covers more than 10 spots and it totally takes more than 20 minute.

I think this is too much for the advertisement and leads to the ineffectiveness of the promotion. I observe and notice that the audience are now tired of the advertising since there are a lot advertisings in the break time. Therefore, people do not always stay tune when there is a break time. They change to the other channels which do not display the advertisement. I think all the television stations think about the advertisers rather than the audience’s preference. In addition to this, I see that recent TV stations seem not to care about which advertisement fits the program. For instance, what kind of products will be advertised during the drama or concert program?

In conclusion, all television stations should consider the case of promoting the advertisement and make the audience not bored and not change the channel. They have to take the length of advertisement and fitting ad with program during the break into account. By doing this, the promotion will be effective and appealing to the audience.

Cambodian PM accepts WFP apology

Cambodia’s premier said yesterday he accepted an apology from the World Food Programme for an incorrect statement about the country’s food security, days after the controversial jailing of a WFP worker.

Cambodian warehouse employee Seng Kunnaka was sentenced on Sunday to six months in prison for printing and distributing anti-government material in a rushed trial criticised by rights groups.

The arrest came not long after Prime Minister Hun Sen gave a speech in which he attacked the WFP for wrongly claiming Cambodia was vulnerable to food shortages. The UN organisation has since apologised for the error.

A government spokesman told AFP earlier this week that there was no connection between the arrest and Hun Sen’s attack on WFP.

“This is an individual case… They did not prosecute WFP,” Khieu Kanharith said Monday.

Cambodia Keen To Sell Rice To Brunei

Written by Sally Piri Saturday, 25 December 2010

Bandar Seri Begawan – Cambodia, one of the Southeast Asian countries relying on agriculture sector to boost its economy, reiterated its keen interest to export high-quality rice to Brunei.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, Ambassador of Cambodia to Brunei Darussalam Nan Sy said recently that the plan was part of his country’s effort to expand cooperation in investment sector. “We wish that (cooperation in agriculture sector) will soon be coming,” the ambassador said.

He said that agriculture has been the most important sector in Cambodia, as it contributes 80 to 85 per cent to its country’s economy. While the remaining contributions are received from the tourism sector and mining industry. He said that the country has also been exporting rice to Vietnam and Thailand.

The ambassador recalled that the plan on agriculture cooperation such as rice was previously brought up to the table during the 2008 Cambodia visit of then-permanent secretary at the Brunei’s Ministry of Finance Dato Paduka Hj Ali Hj Apong, who is now Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office. During the talk with his Cambodian counterpart, Dato Paduka Hj Ali wished for the Sultanate to buy rice from Cambodia, said Nan Sy.

Cambodia, a country with more than 14 million population, have been enjoying a close affinity with the Sultanate which has been pro-viding scholarship as well as information and technology training assistance to Cambodian students and government officers. The ambassador said the state visit by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam to Cambodia in 2007 had enhanced the cooperation between the two nations and had opened the path for bilateral cooperation such as technical assistance in oil and gas industry as well as education.

Both states established diplomatic relations on June 9, 1992, which saw bilateral visits by leaders and government officials. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah visited Cambodia for the 17th Asean-EU Ministerial Meeting in 2009.

While Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen attended His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s 60th birthday celebrations on July 15, 2006. Also, His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni made a state visit to Brunei from 24-25 March 2008.

At the ministerial level, Dr Thong Khan, who is the Cambodia’s Minister of Tourism has attended the 28th Asean Tourism Forum in January this year. The bilateral cooperation between the two covers a number of areas including defence, trade and education. — Courtesy of The Brunei Times

Fund Raising at IFL

On the day of Christmas, Institute of Foreign Languages is conducting a charity called “Fund Raising” at its campus to raise the money for the disadvantaged children. There are several joyful activities that you can play. You can buy T-shirts and you money will go for the charity. Also, you can put some money and then you can play game. This is the exciting event. Please enjoy for Christmas and you can contribute to helping poor people……

The event starts from the morning until 3Pm……

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……Photo by Dara Saoyuth…….

China’s Yunnan businesses seek investment in Cambodia

The Association for Economic Cooperation and Trade Promotion between Yunnan and Southeast and South Asia (ECTPA) on Friday signed an investor facilitation cooperation agreement with Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia, aimed to seek business opportunities in the country.

The agreement was signed by Jammy Gao, president of Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia and Wang Guoliang, vice chairman of the ECTPA.

Under the agreement, when there is an investment delegation from Yunnan province to seek investment opportunity in Cambodia or vice-versa, each party has obligation to assist and arrange meetings with local businesspeople or government officials in order to facilitate them in their investment seeking purpose.

Niu Shaoyao, chairman of the association, said that the delegation consisted of investors from 13 investment companies in Yunnan, which specialize in construction, mining, post express logistics, steel factory, real estate development, technology, and agriculture.

“Our visit to Cambodia is to explore investment opportunities,” he said.

During the five-day visit, the delegation has met with Cambodia ‘s Second Vice President of the Senate Tep Ngorn and Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam On as well as some investors in Cambodia.

“We have learnt that Cambodia has huge potentials and its law is preferential for investors,” he said. “Chinese investors in Cambodia have told us their successful experiences in their investments.”

“I believed that during the visit, investors from Yunnan would be able to find good investment partners or favorable sectors in Cambodia for their future investment plans,” he added.

Jin Yuan, economic and commercial counselor of the Chinese embassy in Cambodia, said during the signing ceremony that even though Cambodia is a small and poor country, but it is an attractive place for foreign investors for its rich natural resources and political stability and its emerging economy.

“It is an opportunity for investors from Yunnan province to do business in Cambodia,” he said. “Moreover, the relation between Cambodia and China has reached the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation, which builds more confidence for Chinese investors in Cambodia.”

The delegation arrived in Cambodia on Thursday after visiting Laos and Thailand for investment opportunity seeking.

It’s sawasdee, ka, even in Cambodia

Thai courses in the Khmer capital help forge ties with our sometimes distant neighbour

Bangkok Post

Heang Sreychea, 19, a Cambodian student at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, is listening to the Thai traditional Loy Krathong song and singing along to the lyrics displayed on a karaoke TV screen.

The young woman is among 27 Cambodian students enrolled in a basic Thai language and culture class run by the university’s Institute of Foreign Language (IFL) in the Cambodian capital. “I want to go to Thailand. That’s why I study Thai,” said Ms Sreychea, a media and communications student. “I think Thai is similar to Cambodian. So it isn’t too difficult for me to remember Thai words.”

The university has taught Thai for five years as an extra-curricular course to promote cultural and educational ties between Thailand and Cambodia. Three Thais teach the students. Thai language courses are gaining popularity among Cambodians at the university (RUPP) even though relations between the countries go through ups and downs.

The vice-rector of RUPP and overseer of the IFL, Sous Man, said the university had asked the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to upgrade Thai as a major subject at undergraduate level. This would give Cambodian students more

chance to improve their Thai skills, find good jobs with Thai companies and win scholarships to pursue higher degrees in Thailand. If it allowed the IFL to add the Thai language to its foreign language majors for undergraduate students, more Thai teachers would be needed for the programme, she said.

Since Thai courses have been offered at the IFL, the number of Cambodian students has increased every year. No more than 35 students are allowed for each course to ensure quality standards can be met. The IFL has four Thai courses ranging from basic learning to advanced tuition for those who want to learn various techniques and styles in Thai.

Students pay about 1,000 baht for each one-year Thai course. Sa-ngop Boonkloy, a Thai language teacher from Buri Ram Rajabhat University, has been teaching at the Cambodian university for three years. He said that after finishing four Thai courses, his Cambodian students were highly qualified and could find decent jobs with Thai companies and the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh.

Some work as interpreters and translators while others are waiting to receive scholarships to study at Thai universities, Mr Sa-ngop said.

“I will try to teach many more Cambodian students to speak and understand Thai because I believe the language will help foster ties between our two countries,” he said. In the same way, he wanted to see more Thai universities teaching the Khmer language to Thai students.

Ly Bonthunnarak, 17, an architect student at RUPP, who has enrolled in the basic Thai language course, said he learns Thai because he wants to help his mother run a flower shop. The young man’s mother has a flower shop in Phnom Penh and travels to Bangkok’s Pak Khlong flower market several times a month to place orders. “If I can speak Thai more fluently, I will be able to help,” he said.

Thep Pharin, 22, a psychology student at RUPP, has studied Thai for four years because she plans to take scholarship exams to study graduate level psychology in Thailand. “I’m proud I can speak Thai fluently. I have to thank Acharn Sa-ngop for his support,” Ms Pharin said.

US$1 billion Cambodian airport project planned for Siem Reap

CAMBODIA. A South Korean company contracted to build a new airport serving visitors to Cambodia’s famed Angkor temples says its US$1 billion project will also encompass a new city and industrial estate, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Photo by Dara Saoyuth

NSRIA Co. Ltd. said its planned New Siem Reap International Airport and linked developments represent Cambodia’s “largest national project” and “Korea’s first-ever export of its airport development and operation expertise”.

The statement, which expands upon partial information released by the Cambodian government and in the Korean press, said its concession for the project spans 65 years – covering five years of construction and 60 years of operation – after which it can be extended.

NSRIA is a Cambodian joint venture whose main investors are two South Korean companies, Lees A&A Co. Ltd. and Camko Airport Co. Ltd.

The statement said the project will include an adjacent ‘Special Economic Zone’, a dry port and a 15.4sq mile (40sq km) city. South Korea in recent years has become a major investor in Cambodia, ranking number two after China by some measurements, AP said. However, some ambitious Korean-funded real estate developments in Phnom Penh, the capital, have stalled, it added.

The new airport will be able to handle Boeing 747s, making it the country’s first capable of handling direct long-haul flights from Europe and North America, said the statement. The area is currently served by a modern but small airport.

The airport will be located 25 miles (40km) east of Angkor Wat, the statement said, alleviating concerns about potential noise and vibration damage to the centuries-old temples at Angkor, Cambodia’s main tourist attraction.

There is concern that the temples, already damaged by warfare, looting and the ravages of weather, could be harmed by a greater influx of tourists.

Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-2011, with operations to start in late 2015. At the end of the US$500 million first phase the airport will have the capacity to handle four million passengers a year, and will be able to handle 15 million after expansion.

Photo by Dara Saoyuth

Cambodia had 2.3 million visitors this year, with about half of them visiting the temples, according to Statistics Director for the Tourism Ministry Kong Sophearak.

The statement said the special economic zone will provide an alternative for South Korean companies to investing in China and Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, where labour costs are rising from low levels. Associated Press

Real Skill and Capability Still the concern for the Unemployment

By Sun Narin and Vorn Makara

International Labour Organization expert says Cambodia’s job market is still facing a difficult recovery from the global economic downturn.  However, the employment rate increases in this year. While the nation’s economy is growing, there is still concern that the human resource is not able to meet the market’s needs.

Job rate in this year grows around 3 percent comparing to previous year, according to the National Institute of Statistics. A research of International Labour Organization shows that around 700 people are seeking jobs per day in 2010.

Nhem Kimhoy, the chief of Replacement Bureau at the Labour Ministry, says that the government has produced a variety of jobs through local and international investment.

“The government and ministry pay much attention to finding jobs for the unemployed. They urge investors to establish factories, companies and many other constructions so that people will have more jobs to do,he said.

Though, the number of jobs is rising, most of the job seekers are facing the difficulties in seeking job. Chhom Navy, a recruitment consultant at the job agency Great Alliances, says that a number of candidates have limited ability.

“I see that most of the candidates lack confidence and their English is limited. Some people are not courageous to talk. The others have good English but they do not dare to speak out,” she said.

There are more factors causing candidates to find it hard to get a job. Tun Sophorn is the national coordinator for Cambodia at the International Labour Organization. He says job seekers do not have professional skill for the market needs and they have no skill at work including working in group, leadership and computer.

“Their studying skill mismatches the market needs. Our education does not focus on working skill. Therefore, youths will meet problem in finding job after graduating,” he said.

Currently, the government provides vocational training on specific skill to satisfy market demand. The ministry has set up job center for job-seeking service and market information.

“The ministry has been training all kinds of skills throughout the country to foster people who have no skill to be employed so that all the companies are easy to recruit them to work,” he said.

To find job for Cambodian people, International Labour Organization is going to start its five-year plan next year. The project focuses on three main things: professional development, work accountability and social protection. For DMC radio, I’m Vorn Makara from Phnom Penh.