Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Keynote Address at the Reception of the Honorary Doctorate Degree in Economics from Woosuk University

Phnom Penh, 07th January 2009

- Mr Rah Jong-Il, the President of Woosuk University;
- Dear delegates and professors from Woosuk University;
- Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

I am very pleased and honored today that Woosuk University of the Republic of Korea has decided to grant me the Honorary Doctorate Degree in Economics highly recognizing my efforts and endeavors in serving my beloved people and country and in strengthening and extending our two countries' cooperation; the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Republic of Korea.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to deeply thank Mr. Rah Jong-Il, the President of Woosuk University and the management team of the university who have granted me this Honorary Doctorate Degree in Economics. The degree that I am receiving today is not only an honor for me but also the honor of the Royal government and the people of Cambodia.

This prideful honor has clearly underlined some major obligations ahead of me that I have to carry out with righteousness and with no error for my country in time when the world is facing economic crisis, which has been escalating all over the globe and causing macro-economic imbalances and downturn as well as the great loss in opportunities for millions of people.

Indeed the precious honor that I am receiving today also reflects the solid friendship tie between our peoples and countries; Cambodia and Korea.

Currently, we continue to strengthen and extend the cooperation between the two countries, especially our joint effort in establishing a closer and deeper relation to serve as the ground for comprehensive and long lasting cooperation. In this occasion, I would also like to deeply thank the government and the people of the Republic of Korea for their successive support in infrastructure building, human resource training and loans for the cause of the rehabilitation and development of Cambodia.

On this same day, January 07th thirty years ago even though the country and the people were liberated but the Khmer Rouge regime had left nothing but destruction and setbacks for the newly built state. The whole country was in chaos. Millions suffered from starvation while returning to their homes or looking for their families. The collapsed Pol Pot clique still has the intention to take over remote territories and the country. For that, we needed to put every effort in both improving the people's livelihood and rehabilitating socio-economic infrastructure while preventing the return of the genocide regime and bringing about full peace and order for the country. We carried out these missions with high degree of difficulties while the country was under economic embargo. Civil war continued to escalate and the Khmer Rouge clique activities remained an issue for many years even after the Paris Agreement in 1991 and the first general elections organized by the United Nations in 1993. Indeed, only after 1998 that we can proudly recognize a totally liberated Cambodia with peace due to the "Win-Win" policy of the Royal government.

Starting with bare hands thirty years ago, we started to gradually rebuild our country; on one hand through rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts and on the other through defending our country and preventing the return of the genocide regime. We are now enjoying the fruits of peace and total territorial unity thanks to the "Win-Win" policy of the Royal government that resulted in high growth and poverty reduction throughout the previous decade.

Peace, land integrity and political stability that were missing for decades have enabled Cambodia to undertake reforms in all sectors aiming at developing human resource and institutional capacity, strengthening socio-economic infrastructure, creating favorable climate for attracting investment from both domestic and abroad with the objective to ensure high economic growth and poverty reduction.

Standing on this ground, Cambodia has integrated with the region and the world and is playing an accelerating active role in the process as a member of equal status and right in world and regional organizations. Furthermore, on the foundation of implementing prudential and consistent public financial policy and monetary policy, coupled with open market economic policy, the government has ensure stable and favorable macroeconomic management for development. High economic growth for the last several years has helped generate employment, raised income and improved production and productivity both quantitatively and qualitatively. The coverage and quality of public service have been extended and strengthened continuously in order to answer insisting needs of Cambodian people.

To me, the honor that emerges from my utmost honesty and determination for the cause of the nation and our beloved people, that I received today belongs to all of us including my cherished family, beloved wife, children and grand children who always provide constant encouragement, stand beside and support me all the time. During hard time I always have my beloved wife Lok Chum Teav Bun Rany as well as my children and grand children around me. Also, I am very happy to have colleagues who are members in the legislative and executive branches, government officials, armed forces, loyal advisors and assistants who are hardworking and faithful to me in serving the nation and the people by fulfilling their duties with the high sense of responsibility and consider the common interest first to protect and develop the nation. Indeed, the honor that Woosuk University awards me at the moment also belongs to all of them.

With the progress steps being taken to solve economic challenge for the nation and to continue strengthening and extending the Cambodia-Korea relationship, as new member of Woosuk University Alumni, I would like to express my gratitude to Woosuk University for providing me and all the Cambodian people with encouragement to get together in one at the 30th anniversary of the great resurrection day of Cambodian people to continue accelerating economic growth which is the prerequisite for ensuring sustainable development and poverty reduction.

Finally, I would like to wish Mr. Rah Jong-Il, the President of Woosuk University, Delegates and Professors of Woosuk University and Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen happiness and success this New Year.


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