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.

Influence of Christianity in Cambodia

By Sun Narin

About ninety percent of Cambodian people believe in Buddhism. Constitutional law states Buddhism is the state religion. It is noticeable that some religions have influenced in the country, especially Christianity. A number of Cambodians start to pick up the religion. This concerns Buddhism in Cambodia.

Meas Sivantha is 52 years old. She is sitting in the church with her kid. She is lying her both hands on the leg, closing her eyes and singing for god. Before, she believed in Buddhism, but she just changed to believe in Christianity for nearly 3 months. She says that when she goes to the church, she is taught and she tries to remember the bible.

“When I come to the church, the god will help me when I have trouble. I met a lot of difficulties, so I may follow that religion. It is not complicated. They allow us to come and study,” she said.

Two and a half percent of Cambodian people believe in Christianity. Thirteen Christian churches locate in Phnom Penh and some others in the several provinces.

Kong Sophoan is a director of Phnom Penh-based church in Chamkar Morn district. He has believed in Christianity for around 7 years. He says that all religions are good for people and they have rights to choose what they want.

“Actually Christianity is the same as Buddhism. Both of them are good. We do not invade Buddhism. We just spread it. If people believe us, we will accept them,” he said.

We can see that now there are a lot of Christian missionaries in Cambodia. They go to teach Cambodia’s people and want them to believe in god. This influence impacts our Buddhism in the future.

Venerable Chhuon Pov is a monk at Phnom Penh-based Langka pagoda. He says that the increasing of Christianity is overwhelmed. He explains that there are 3 reasons leading people to believe in Christianity including low education, poverty and materialism.

“This can makes people especially youths want to join the Christianity. People should understand their religion clearly,” he said, adding that the relevant authority should take actions to curb the influence of this religion.

Chhuon Samet is 65 years old and Buddhist believer. He is in the pagoda with his relatives to give monks the offerings. He is chanting in front of the monks. He says that believing religion is dependent on people themselves.

“I cannot say it affects Buddhism or people when it comes to our country. It’s up to people preference and believing. I they think it’s good, they can follow it. If not, they can stop it,” he said.

Khon Dara is the deputy director of religion affairs at the ministry of Cult and Religion. I think that this is not the problem at all and people can benefit from that.

“Actually Christianity helps Cambodia’s people a lot on mental, material and technique. It educates people to love and help each other. It teaches other knowledge, English, computer and administration to our youths,” he said.

He explains that the idea that Christianity is increasing is just the speech of some people who do not understand clearly about the religion and integrated world.

However, he says that the ministry of Cult and Religion is always working on the problem to refrain it from affecting Buddhism.

We have directives, rules and education to control the religion. I do not allow this religion to do whatever they want without making progress in Cambodia,” he said.