Magazine article Presidents & Prime Ministers

Cambodia's Economic Development Priorities

Magazine article Presidents & Prime Ministers

Cambodia's Economic Development Priorities

Article excerpt

How does Cambodia plan to use information and communication technology in its national economic development?

It is a new millennium. It is also a new opportunity for Cambodia, especially in the latest part of the last 400 years. From the 16th century until early 1999, we always experienced different armed groups. Before the approach of the new millennium, Cambodia also had the new and rare opportunity to put a complete end to the armed conflict. It provides Cambodia the opportunity to mobilize all the forces mentally and spiritually to enable social and ethnic development. Communication and information technologies are the fastest developments that we experience today. It is true that countries, big or small, rich or poor, must have a core opportunity for development. Normally, poor countries face many challenges. If large countries remain poor, it is also hard to develop their technologies. But small countries sometimes find easy ways to build up their information. We allocate over 20% of our national budget for education. The donor community accepts our priorities for human resource development. We also provide impetus to the development of information and communication technologies, and there are many private investments in this area that provide telephone, Internet and e-mail services. We also have attracted the assistance of several communication companies to help us develop our technology and communication, especially fiber optics, which we hope the entire nation to have within the next ten to fifteen years. And that enables Cambodia to compete with other countries, especially to provide investors the same opportunities that they find in other countries. Right now, if you have a mobile phone in Cambodia, you can carry the same mobile phone to at least half of the countries in the world.

How does Cambodia ensure security and hygienic food for its tourists?

It is normal for all countries to want their leadership to provide and to guarantee security for their people. We can take pride in our security matter even though Cambodia just ended a war.

As far as food is concerned, I do not think it is a problem. It is the norm of the free market. Once it reaches the demand, people will try to meet that demand not only in food hygiene, but also in the variety of the food that is needed for different tourists in Cambodia. There is no need to advise the private sector on how to manage their food business because they know how to respond to the demand of foreign or local tourists. If you are from India, you can find Indian food and Indian restaurants, if you are from Japan you can find Japanese food and Japanese restaurants. We have many good restaurants in Cambodia.

What are Cambodia's set priorities for economic development?

Before we set out four priorities for our country's development, but recently we increased it to six. The first priority is agriculture, especially water management and irrigation.

The second is infrastructure for communication, transportation and telecommunication. That includes roads, railroads, airports, seaports, telephones and the Internet. …

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