Sunday, October 24, 2010

Keynote Address at the Official Inauguration of the Office of the Council of Ministers

Keynote Address at the Official Inauguration of the Office of the Council of Ministers (Mittapheap), Prime Minister’s Office and the International Conference Hall (Santepheap)

Phnom Penh, October 19th, 2010

Your Venerable TEP VONG, Head of Buddhist Monks of the Kingdom of Cambodia,

Your Venerable Samdech Preah Aphiserei Sokunthea Tepdei BUO KRY, Head of Monks of the Theravada, the Kingdom of Cambodia,

Your Venerable Samdech Preah Moha Somethea Tepdei NGUN NGET, Head of Monks,

Your Venerable Monks,

Highly Respected His Majesty the King Sihamoni, King of the Kingdom of Cambodia,

Samdech Akka Moha Thom Puthisa Chea Sim, Head of the Senate

Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Jakrey Heng Samrin, Head of the National Assembly

Excellencies, Member of the Senate, Members of the National Assembly, Members of the Royal Government, Ambassadors, National and International Distinguished Guests and All Compatriots,

At the outset, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I would like to express my great pleasure and loyalty to warmly welcome Your Majesty the King, Preahbat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihamoni, who has decided to preside over this solemn occasion of the inauguration of the “Office of the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister’s Office and the International Conference Hall” today.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my deepest thanks and gratitude to His Majesty the King, who has always provided all kinds of support to the Royal Government for the cause of national peace, stability, extensive solidarity in order to upgrade the living standard, welfare and harmonization of Cambodian people.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Queen Mother, Norodom Monineat Sihanouk and the King Father of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk for having extended their congratulation to this inauguration ceremony. We believe that this achievement is impossible without the Sangkum Reastr Niyum era which was guided and led by both the Queen-mother and King-father of Cambodia.

At the same time, I would like to express my warm welcome to Samdech Head of Monks, Directors and Deputy Directors of Monks, Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, National and International Guests and all Compatriots, who have participated in this auspicious event.

I would like, now, to report to His Majesty the King, Samdech, Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, National and International Distinguished Guests about the background of the construction of these two buildings as follows:

For so many years, I have always refused not to rebuild the Office of the Council of Ministers, which is responsive to the daily increasing requirement so that the financial resources that we have collected can be kept for building physical infrastructures, especially building roads, bridges, irrigation systems to serve the rural people.

The previous Office of the Council of Ministers was constructed in 1960s during the glorious Sangkum Reastr Niyum under the wise leadership of the King Father, Preahbat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, who was the Head of State at that time. This building was abandoned without any maintenance during the war and the Khmer Rouge genocidal regimes. This building was scrambled and the west wing, working offices, meeting and reception rooms, and modern system of this building, which is to serve the efficiency of the working operation almost collapsed.

The vision of complete change was initiated during the visit of H.E Vou Yi, Deputy Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in March 2004. Having seen clearly this shattered building of the Office of the Council of Ministers and the requirement of the Royal Government of Cambodia, the Deputy Prime Minister of PRC pledged to propose to the Government of China to assist in constructing this new building for the Royal Government. After then, the Government of the People’s Republic of China assigned a team of delegation, including the representatives from the Ministry of Trade and the Peking Institute of Architecture and Research to work with Cambodian Plan Study Working Group and promised to draw a plan singed on 06 January 2005, presided over by H.E Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister. During the official visit on 08 April 2006, H.E Wen Jiabao and I presided over the ground breaking ceremony of the construction of the new building of the Office of the Council of Ministers, which took about 19 months to have the construction completely finished.

The new building of this Council of Ministers consists of 7th floors with the height of 40 meters and the total space of 32, 580 square meters.

In this building, there are offices of the leaders of the Royal Government, Office of the Council of Ministers that is the Secretariat Office of the Royal Government, Authorities, Councils and other Committees of the Royal Government. In addition to the working offices, there is a big Conference Hall, which can accommodate 20-200 people.

This new building of the Office of the Council of Ministers is one of the symbols and achievements among other accomplishments that have stemmed from the friendship and close cooperation between the countries and people of our two countries Cambodia-China.

I would like to take this opportunity to convey my deep gratitude, through H.E. Pan Guangxue, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Cambodia, to the people and government of the People’s Republic of China for the valuable grant to build these buildings that will be used to improve efficiency and delivery of public services for Cambodian people.

Since the completion of construction in December 2008 and the handover ceremony in February 2009, this building has been the Royal Government’s busiest office which hosted cabinet meetings, reception of international guests, inter-ministerial and inter-institutional meetings, administrative coordination and reform tasks.

In spite of its high accommodation capacity, the building cannot correspond to our preparation needs for the international summits and meetings and Cambodia’s increasing role in the regional and global arena.

To respond to this need and the improved national economic welfare, I then decided to build another building alongside to act as the Prime Minister’s office and host international conferences.

This building covers an area of 50,790 square meters, almost two times larger than the building of the council of ministers and is 51.91 meters high. It is a five-storey building with three mezzanine floors measuring at 5.5 meter high. Each floor is reserved for different purposes. The structure of this building is derived from both modern architecture and Angkor Wat era style.

The building will be used as the personal office of the Prime Minister, cabinet of the Prime Minister, ministerial meeting halls, international meeting halls such as ASEAN summit, ASEAN plus 3, East Asia Summit, multi-purpose halls that can accommodate more than 700 guests, medium-size meeting halls, bilateral meeting halls, more than 50 office compartments and technical, administrative and security offices.

This building is equipped with hi-tech security equipments, gate monitoring system, CCTV, electricity supply, data network, and other necessary systems for the organization of large conferences.

The special characteristic of this building is that it is fully developed by Khmer people and the construction is financed by the national budget. Engineers, architects, construction workers, decorators who take part in the construction of this building are all Khmers. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Royal Palace Samdech Choa Vea Veang Kong Som Ol for leading the study committee and overseeing the construction of this building. Moreover, he personally instigated and managed the decoration of this building by skillfully combining the modern architecture with Angkor Wat era style. The construction of this building has been contracted to two Cambodian companies, including Ly Chuong Construction led by Mr. Ly Chuong and Vispan Company led by Mr. Unpheng Puthvisal and Mrs. Kung Panha.

Peace, political stability, national integrity and territorial unification achieved through the implementation of the “Win-Win” policy and socio-economic development over the past 10 years have allowed us to mobilized resources for the construction of this building, following the construction of the Parliament Building.

Another special characteristic is the overcoming of time constraint. Both the study and construction phases took only 18 months. Engineers, architects and construction workers worked around the clock and expertly dealt with various issues arising from this time constraint.

Along with this, although the construction of this building is completed with a short period of time, the standard of this building perfectly responds to present and long-term needs as the design is based on future needs and the study team has been dispatched foreign countries such as Brunei, Singapore and Vietnam and bring back information to build and decorate this building. I would like to praise the study and construction committee and the study team for hard work and close collaboration with both companies to complete the construction of this building within a short timeframe. Cambodia is proud of this building as the construction is purely done by Khmer people and purely financed by the Royal Government. It will be an inheritance for the future governments.

In general, both buildings perfectly complement each other. The combination of the Council of Ministers building, Prime Minister’s Office building and the international conference center will be jointly called the New Government House. This attests to the Royal Government’s firm commitment to improving the efficiency and quality of public service delivery to serve the people better.

Parallel to this, the Royal Government has also recognized that even so far Cambodia has made many achievements in all sectors; Cambodia still has to continue her efforts in solving many important issues including improving human resources, developing capacity of institutions, expanding and strengthening physical infrastructure socio-economics. In this regard, Royal Government is committed to encouraging the implementation of key measures in order to achieve the priority goals mentioned in “The Rectangular Strategy Phase 2”. Those goals include ensuring peace, political stability, national security, social order and ensuring sustainable economic growth.

Before ending, I would like to highly value and deeply thank Samdech Chaveavang Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Royal Palace Kong Som Ol for always diligently providing active support to this work till it is done. In addition, I would like highly value and praise Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Urban Planning and Construction, Phnom Penh Municipality, and relevant ministries and institutions for always giving importance to and facilitating all the tasks to build this great building and finished in a determined time.

Again I would like to thank the Chinese government and her people, the management of Ministry of Commerce, the management of Yunnan Province and Yunnan Construction Engineering Group Corporation of China for always supporting the efforts of Cambodia in rehabilitating and developing the nation.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to dedicate “The Inauguration of Council of Ministers’ Building, Cabinet of Prime Minister’s Building and the International Conference Hall” as a symbol of opening a page of the new century for the prosperity of Kingdom of Cambodia and all her people.

I would like to name the council of ministers’ building as “Friendship Building”, the Cabinet of Prime Minister’s Building and the International Conference Building as “Peace Building” from now on; as these two building are established due to the friendship tie between Cambodia-China and during the time that Cambodia is fully at peace.

Finally, I would like to wish His Majesty the king Norodom Sihamoni healthiness, vigor, and wisdom. In addition, may all the charms and holy spirits bless the Queen-mother and King-father of Cambodia.

I would like to wish the Honorable Chief of Monk, Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, National, International Distinguished Guests and all Compatriots the four gems of Buddhist blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Remarks at the Opening Session: “Quality of Life, Achieving Greater Wellbeing and More Dignity for All Citizens”

8th Asia-Europe Summit

Brussels, October 4-5, 2010

- Excellency Chairman of the Meeting,

- Excellencies Heads of States/Governments

- Distinguished Delegates

Today, it is my great honor to join the Distinguished Leaders of Asia and Europe to express Cambodia’s view at the 8th ASEM Summit. I would like to thank the Government and the people of the Kingdom of Belgium for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangements for this meeting. Taking this opportunity, Cambodia would like to join the Leaders of Asia and Europe to welcome Australia, New Zealand and Russian Federation to be Members of ASEM.

This year’s meeting marks an important historical milestone in reforming the global economic architecture especially the way we deal with the consequences of the recent global financial crisis, which has direct impacts on the wellbeing, dignity and livelihoods of our citizens.

Generally, the global economy has recovered from the crisis. However, this recovery remains fragile. The real situation shows that the recovery has been led by Asian economies, particularly China and India. Based on this, International Financial Institutions and many other major world economic and financial forums, especially the IMF and G20, emphasize on the necessity of “Global Rebalance”, meaning that it is an in-depth structural change of demand and supply structure in the world market. In this context, the role of the US and Europe markets, which used to be the main growth driver for world economy, will decline, and most of Asian countries, who used to be the suppliers to the US and Europe markets, have to shift their increasing reliance on domestic and regional demand.

The in-depth change has posed a number of challenges for the small and least developed countries including Cambodia, in their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals as they used to rely greatly on the US and Europe market and ODA from the developed countries. The key question here is that, on the one hand, it is necessary and urgent to adjust economic structure in order to make a quick integration into regional production chain and trade, aimed at capturing new opportunity emerged from the “global rebalance”. On the other, the possible declining of ODA from developed countries in the short to medium term is critical as this assistance is of great importance for achieving Millennium Development Goals, especially investment in the sources of growth, education, health and other important social sectors, which help reduce poverty and promote the wellbeing of the people.

In current context, in order to achieve sustainable growth and poverty reduction, as well as improvement of wellbeing and dignity our people from all walks of life, our meeting should emphasize commitments to the following principles:

(i) Actively promoting the implementation of reforms in all sectors aimed at ensuring the resilience of financial sector and economic stability, which are the foundation for sustainable development.

(ii) Promoting trade and investment liberalization, and the transfer of technology. This agenda is closely linked to the regional and sub-regional integration, such as building the ASEAN Community, the Greater Mekong Sub-region program, ACMECS cooperation, in which we want more active support from our European partners. At the global level, we are committed to exploring and using all means and efforts in order to finalize Doha negotiations on Development agenda as soon as possible.

(iii) Committing to enhance cooperation in agriculture and rural development which is important for poverty reduction and especially assuring food security.

(iv) Paying attention on effort to achieve Millennium Development Goals, which is the key effort to improve the wellbeing and dignity of people by ensuring sustainable ODA.

Indeed, apart from the key issues mentioned earlier, our meeting has a long list of agenda for deliberation covering a wide range of topics related to our cooperation in political, security, economic and cultural areas, aimed at strengthening relationships between the two continents in the spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership. I expect that the discussions and the decisions that we make at this meeting will contribute further to our common efforts, at both regional and global levels, aimed at resolving the critical challenges facing all of us for the benefit of all our countries and people, as well as the world community.

In this regard, I wish a fruitful and great success to our Summit./.

Remarks on Sustainable Development at the 8th Asia-Europe Summit

Brussels, October 4-5, 2010

- Excellency Chairman of the Meeting,

- Excellencies Heads of States/Governments

- Distinguished Delegates

I am delighted once again to be here with distinguished Leaders of Asia and Europe to share my views on this auspicious occasion.

During the opening session, I already shared some views related to sustainable development and improvement of wellbeing and dignity for all citizens. At this juncture, allow me to reemphasize and highlight some more important issues related to sustainable development.

In order prevent a future crisis, promote development and sustainable growth, I believe that Asia and Europe could enhance partnership in the following fields:

First, Strengthen macro-economic policy coordination, expand market openness, oppose and resist to all forms of protectionism, safeguard fair and open global trade and investment. In this regard, Cambodia urges the European partners to increase their support for the efforts aimed at promoting regional and sub-regional integration, such as building the ASEAN Community, the Greater Mekong Sub-region program. At the same time, Cambodia whole-heartedly supports the efforts for the early conclusion of the Doha negotiations on Development agenda under WTO as soon as possible.

Second, Enhance cooperation in agriculture by transferring modern technology to cultivate quality seeds, strengthen environmental and ecological conservation, promote the processing of agro-products, thus increasing farmers’ incomes and reducing poverty in rural areas. Cambodia has a great potential for agricultural productivity improvement to raise the living standard of the people and to accelerate poverty reduction. This will effectively contribute to efforts aimed at ensuring domestic, regional and global food security. In this regard, Cambodia urges the support from the European partners in the areas of investment and technology transfers in order to increase the production of rice and other agricultural products, which Cambodia has a great endowment.

Third, climate change has posed serious challenges to sustainable development at the global level. Therefore, “green” economy must be at the top of the priority list of our development agenda. By recognizing the two-way interaction between biodiversity and climate change, we must ensure that climate change is incorporated into all aspects of development policy to promote sustainable management of natural resources.

Fourth, sealing a new climate change agreement will require unwavering political will. Cambodia fully supports the efforts to address climate change based on the key principles of the United Nations Framework of Convention on Climate Change, namely “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities”, “specific needs and special circumstances of developing country parties, especially those that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change” and the “precautionary principle”. Moreover, the principles of the Kyoto Protocol shall be valid for any new international agreement on climate change. Therefore, Cambodia would like to emphasize on the important linkage between the efforts made by developing countries to address challenges of climate change with the financial support and technology transfer committed by developed countries.

Fifth, improved energy efficiency and better use of alternative and renewable energy are key response to address climate change. Therefore, we must encourage increasing investment in clean development mechanisms. At the same time, we must find the fine balance between, on one hand, the development needs of developing countries, especially the least developed countries such as Cambodia and, on the other hand, the urgency to address climate change. In this regard, I would like to reiterate the needs of financial, technical and technological support for least developed countries to deal with critical challenges.

As a least developed country, Cambodia has always attached great importance to sustainable development efforts. During the most difficult period of the global financial and economic crisis, the Royal Government of Cambodia took timely measures to counter negative impacts on Cambodian society and economy. As a result, Cambodia has managed to maintain the stability of the financial sector as well as macro-economic and social stability, especially the normalcy of the people’s livelihoods. The Gross Domestic Product experienced a positive growth of 0.1% in 2009, though very small, as agriculture and services sector maintained robust growth. Moreover, the efforts made by Cambodia in promoting agriculture and the rural economy turned out with a good outcome, i.e. reduction of poverty by 1% per year in spite of the negative impact caused by the global financial and economic crisis. Economic growth in 2010 is estimated to be 5%. Next year the economy is expected to grow over 6%.

We fully acknowledge the bonded link between the major components of sustainable development, such as economic development, social safety nets, the need for environmental protection, including sustainable management and sustainable use of natural resources, and responses to climate change. In this spirit, Cambodia has been working hard to fulfill its own obligation, according to its capacity and capability, within regional and global frameworks./.

Remarks for Press Conference at the 8th Asia-Europe Summit

Brussel, October 4-5, 2010

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

H.E Chairman and other speakers have already underlined key points of the meeting. Taking this opportunity, as ASEAN coordinating country, I would like to highlight some key points from the ASEAN perspectives.

First of all, I believe that this year’s Summit is a relevant and important forum to discuss issues related to the recovery in the post global financial crisis and issues related to sustainable development in the long run.

We all recognize that it is necessary to exert joint efforts internationally, at regional, inter-regional and global level, in order to prevent future crises and to ensure sustainable development that would bring progress and prosperity to our countries and people. In this regard, Cambodia expresses her full support for the cooperation agenda and the enhanced Asia-Europe partnership which our meeting discussed and agreed upon, reflected in the Chair Statement and the Declaration of the 8th Asia-Europe Meeting on Global Economic Crisis, as the outcome of our meeting.

If we look back for a while, we will see that Asia-Europe cooperation, under the ASEM framework, has achieved significant progress both in terms of quantity and in terms of quality since its establishment in 1996. Indeed, the enhanced understanding and closer cooperation between Asia and Europe will not only bring about peace, security, stability, progress, development and prosperity to countries and nations of our two regions, but will also make an invaluable contribution to our joint efforts in achieving peace and progress of countries and people in the world.

There is another point which I would like to emphasize. Indeed, for ASEAN, Europe is the region which has achieved a remarkable progress in regional integration and community building. Although, ASEAN is in different political, economic, cultural and historical context from Europe, our aspiration in building ASEAN Community living in peace, prosperity and harmony might not be different from the vision of the European people. Therefore, ASEAN has attached a great interest in learning, exchanging experience and promoting cooperation with Europe. In this regard, we always reemphasize again and again our aspiration to encourage our European partners to increase support for regional and sub-regional integration efforts such as ASEAN Community building, GMS and ACMECS, etc.

To sum up, as a member of ASEM and ASEAN coordinating country, Cambodia would like to express our satisfaction with the importance and the growing cooperation between Asia and Europe in the ASEM framework. Moreover, we also admit, in our cooperation framework, many potentials have not yet been maximized its usage. Therefore, we all expressed a joint commitment to enhancing this cooperation to be more proactive for the benefit of our countries and people as well as of the world community.

Finally, I would take this opportunity to thank people and government of Belgium for the excellent arrangements for this meeting and warm hospitality extended to all of us.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Keynote Address at the Conferment of Certificate and Degree to Graduates of the University of Puthisastra

National Institute of Education, September 29, 2010

- Your Venerable Monks,

- Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished National and International Guests,

- Dear the Management, Lecturers and Students,

It is my pleasure to be here today to confer certificates and degrees to 373 graduates of the University of Puthisastra. On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and my spouse, I would like to congratulate all the graduates to be awarded with certificates and degrees shortly. This achievement reflects your hard work in the pursuit of capacity development and prosperity for family and the nation. I think this is a very proud and memorable event as it shows that Cambodia is on the accelerated path of building competent and talented human resources for accelerated socio-economic development. Taking this opportunity, I would like to commend the University of Puthisastra for its contribution to the nation’s human resource development effort, more specifically the active contribution and firm commitment from the management, lecturers, and all staffs that make today’s achievement possible. Also in this context, I would like to commend the management, the rector, vice rectors, lecturers, and all staffs of the University of Puthisastra for joining the Royal Government in building human resources, the concrete foundation for socio-economic development and poverty reduction.

Furthermore, I would like to highly appreciate the Puthisastra University for establishing student exchange program to enable Cambodian students to go on study tour and exchange experience with students in United States every years and for providing students scholarship to continue their studies in the Republic of Korea. These allow our Cambodian students rare opportunity to learn from experience and new knowledge of those countries. These qualifications will double our students’ confidence for fearless and equal participation at both national and international forum. In this spirit, I would like to encourage the management of Puthisastra University to carry forward this mission in order to provide students of next batch more opportunity to increase their competitiveness domestically, regionally and internationally.

Indeed, today achievements that the University has made is the reflection of marvelous result from the implementation of the Royal Government’s righteous policy through allowing private sector participation in education and human resource development at all levels in Cambodia. Moreover, this achievement cannot be decoupled from successful implementation of “Win-Win” policy which ensured stability and full peace for people nation-wide and ensure complete national unity. Undeniably, it is full peace and security that enabled the Royal Government of Cambodia to reconstruct and develop the national socio-economy, and especially to be able to protect integrity for the nation and the land like today.

As always, the Royal Government is fully aware that education and training are investments that require huge amount of budget and time and high degree of patience, but will provide intangible result which sometimes take even a generation for the result to be materialized. These mean that education and training, for which we are making effort today, will not only bring result for society of this generation, but also are very potential social capital for sustainable development and continuity of Khmer people of generations to come. That’s why the Royal Government has always considered education and training as priority sector and key determinant for increased productivity and work efficiency with objective to ensure success for sustainable development process in the context that the world is being characterized by strong globalization current at the present.

Moreover, the success of human resource development is primarily based on the capacity of the education institutions in all levels, especially the higher education, which is the place for creative intellectual training, meaning that the knowledge gained from the education of learning, learning to think, learning to do, learning to experience and consider with wisdom and subconscious sense. Along with that, higher education institutions are the places for workshops to orientate students towards development of capacity, skills, confidence, professions and comprehensive networks to be a foundation for each individual’s living, families and society as a whole in the future. In this regard, all higher education institutions have to pay further attention to train our students in both theories and practices, in particular, put the maximum focus on the principles of respecting the rules and regulations, disciplines, orders and good morality and virtues of our Khmer ancestors in order to make sure our students become good citizens of the society after their graduation.

At the same time, in the context of free market economy, the success of human resource development cannot be separated from the active participation from the private sector. With this view, the Royal Government has always considered the private sector as the “locomotive of economic growth”. For the time being, the trend of globalization and liberalization policy on education has been positively affecting Cambodian society. This effect could be clearly shown through the increase of private education institutions in all levels and the strengthening of partnership with both local and foreign partners by promoting the competitiveness for the improvement of quality of products and services. This is the good advantage for the people and the society as a whole. At the same time, although our annual economic growth has been affected by the global economic and financial downturn, the activities of industry, trade and employment generation for the people can still be maintained in a level that is manageable, which make us able to cope with the issue of unemployment with high efficiency as well as mitigating from other problems that may cause adverse impacts to the economy and our society. These successes are truly the advantage gained from the priceless contribution by the growth in education sector and confident partnership between the Royal Government and the private sector.

Along with that, based on the experience of developed countries in the world, prosperity and progress of all sectors primarily depends on knowledge capitals. It plays a key role in solving every confronting problem, and the knowledge capitals also provide education and share other useful knowledge to every person in the society through literature achievements, research articles, books and other research documents; and it also helps preserve our national cultures and find new scientific discoveries. This 21th century is the era of knowledge and information technology, thus knowledge capital has a more important role to play in society. And all this knowledge is a determined factor for increasing the economic potential, competitiveness, and competitive advantages to maximize advantages for our society and homeland.

I am myself optimistic that students graduating today will certainly become core workforce with knowledge, know-how, technical specialization, and talents; in addition, they will be responsible, morally good, and scholars with reasoning power and high conscience; all these factors are qualifications for determining success and dignities of all students in the future.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to ask all the successful students to use their knowledge in the proper and right way and to do useful things for your families and the entire society. All students please remember that all works are valuable; all works, small and big, always have some special features for learning and making merits. In short, talents are the vehicle that will transport you all to the goals you want to achieve. In addition, students are the ones who highly educated and the scholars with reasoning power. Thus, you all should not only rely on finding existing jobs to work in; in contrast you should use your knowledge for new inventions to create opportunities and works for yourself, and other compatriots who do not have opportunities to become educated like you. So you all should develop yourself into an entrepreneur, and an entrepreneur who is successful in the future; this is a request from your families and our society that wish all the students here today work hard to make successful achievements in the future, and to be involved in developing national socio-economy with progress, prosperity and reputation like Angkor ear.

On the other hand, all education and training institutes have to fulfill the need for human resources and markets. Education of students has to link to the practice of real works. In this regard, all education institutes have to pay attention to the studies located in the real work places, factories, enterprises, and have to create some outside classroom activities for students such as study clubs, sport clubs, music clubs and so on, so that students will have learn more about things surrounding them and have extensive knowledge and pleasant spirits in the study. In addition, all education institutes have to focus on education on morality and significance of our cultures and preservation of the national identity. All these factors will strengthen our national conscience and our love for our homeland for our younger generations.

Before ending, I would like to take this opportunity to deeply thank and admire the ministry of education, youths and sports, relevant ministries and institutions, development partners and private sectors that have worked hard together to promote the development of Cambodian human resources.

At the end, I and my wife would May I wish Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished National and International Guests, Teachers and all Students, and all Compatriots the four gems of Buddhist blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health, and Strength.

Address at the second ASEAN-US LEADERS’ MEETING

Washington, 24th September 2010

Your Excellency Barack Obama, President of the United States of America

Your Majesty the Sultan, Excellencies ASEAN Leaders,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to express our profound gratitude to the President of the United States of America, His Excellency Barack Obama, for the hospitality and the excellent arrangements made for the second “ASEAN-US Leaders’ Meeting”.

This summit has demonstrated that both ASEAN and the U.S. are committed to further strengthening and enhancing interactions in political, security, economic, social and cultural areas by displaying partnership and strengthening cooperation aimed at ensuring stability and development in Southeast Asia. In this regard, I would like to reiterate my support for the President Obama’s initiative to establish an Eminent Persons Group (EPG) in order to explore ways and means to deepen and widen the existing cooperation between ASEAN and the US as well as to recommend measures for deepening ASEAN-US relations in the future.

As we all know, the geo-political and economic landscape has changed, as Asia come out of the Global Financial Crisis. Indeed, with the increased importance of East Asia economy, all of us remain to recognize the great pre-requisite role of the US in ensuring world stability and development. In this spirit, Cambodia welcomes the US’s participation in the East Asia Summit, a new mechanism of the regional architecture which ASEAN has been continuing its centrality. With the US’s participation in this framework, Cambodia is of the view that we should add political and security cooperation as another area to the five priority areas which have been implemented namely, energy, education, finance, combating Avian-Influenza and natural disaster mitigation. At the same time, Cambodia urges the US to support ASEAN Chair’s regular participation in the G-20 as it emerges as the key global forum to tackle issues and address the future development of the world’s economic and financial system.

On the trade front, the U.S. continues to be the key export market and great source of investment for the ASEAN countries. In this regard, Cambodia welcomes the new initiatives aimed at implementing the Joint Vision Statement on the ASEAN-U.S. Enhanced Partnership adopted in 2005, and notable efforts to promote cooperation in trade facilitation, trade finance and standards under the ASEAN-US Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA). At the same time, I would like to urge for the expedition of the new Action Plan for the ASEAN-US Enhanced Partnership (2010-2015) in order to ensure its step-by-step implementation in accordance with the set timeframe.

ASEAN's commitment to free trade and building the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) has helped reinforce an open multilateral trading system. In addition, stronger commitments to attract US investment at both national and regional levels are required to boost overall U.S.-ASEAN economic activity. Thus, ASEAN welcomes increasing US role in building the AEC, especially we welcomes financial contribution as well as technical assistance from the US in order to support the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, which is the foundation for narrowing development gaps within ASEAN and stepping stone toward East Asian integration in the longer term.

Cambodia welcomes a broader and deeper ASEAN-U.S. cooperation to promote educational exchanges, including in science and technology and in people-to-people interactions. The US can play an important role in developing human resources to support ASEAN community building process by focusing especially on newer members of ASEAN. In this regard, Cambodia highly appreciates the capacity building component of the trade facilitation arrangement.

The recent Second U.S.-Lower Mekong meeting was a great success. I would like to thank the US for the financial support for this cooperation. Our Mekong countries look forward to promote cooperation in the areas of environment, health, education and infrastructure development and discuss specific activities for cooperation.

On the security front, the ASEAN region is wrestling with fighting terrorism and here too the United States is a major player. The US presence has been a determining reason for the peace and stability in Asia. It has helped ensure a booming and dynamic Southeast Asia. Cambodia has greatly benefited from capacity training in counter-terrorism that the United States and some regional countries that have provided us during the past years. The ASEAN Regional Forum has now evolved into the region's premier security forum. At the same time, Cambodia has embarked on the training of peace-keeping forces, making humble contribution to regional and world peace.

Cambodia is committed to the regime of nuclear non-proliferation and welcomes efforts exerted to re-launch the six party talks. Peace and stability on the Korean peninsula are critical for the prosperity of East Asia.

After all, ASEAN and the US must find new ways and a new vision for a shared future. Both sides will gain from engagement. The agenda for this could cover a broad range of issues, from poverty reduction, economy, trade and investment, energy, environment protection and climate change management to nuclear disarmament, combating terrorism, and confidence-building measures.

Once again, I am convinced that our today’s meeting will lay out some new important foundations for ensuring a success of our win-win cooperation, which is the top interest of our countries and peoples.

Keynote Address at the Inauguration of the Tonle Sap Bridge and the Bridge-to-National Highway 6A Connecting Road

September 20, 2010

- Your Venerable Samdech Preah Moha Sometheathepadei NUN NGET, Head of Monks,

- Your Venerable Monks,

- Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

- Dear Compatriots,

It is my great pleasure to be here once again to inaugurate the “Concrete Bridge Crossing Over Tonle Sap and the Brige-National Highway 6A Connecting Road” in Prek Pnov, Russei Keo District. In this joyous moment, I would like to congratulate all compatriots who will travel through this area as the new bridge crossing over Tonle Sap and connecting road are now inaugurated to serve the public.

Infrastructure construction is indeed a key responsibility of the Royal Government in serving public interests and a key priority in its socio-economic agenda. However, due to limited resources in addressing all needs immediately, the Royal Government opted to mobilize resources from development partners and private sector to fill the gap to build physical infrastructure to underpin people’s livelihoods and growth. Although this is a toll bridge, Cambodia will gain enormous benefits from this, both in terms of economic and social perspectives. This attests to the Royal Government’s utmost effort in recent years to fast-track development in all sectors to promote people’s livelihoods, in which the expansion of physical infrastructure in rural areas is a key agenda, reflected through the Rectangular Strategy which identify physical infrastructure as locomotive of growth and effective means of poverty reduction. In this regard, it shows that the Royal Government of Cambodia has been working very hard, especially in the last few years, in the restoration and development of all sectors to quickly improve the living standard and welfare of the people; for that includes extensive restorations and constructions of physical infrastructure in order to reach all rural areas. All these tasks are a strategic part of the“Rectangular Strategy” which considers physical infrastructures as priorities that could be compared with the “Locomotive” of economic growth and as an effective way to reduce Cambodia’s poverty. Obviously, all those physical infrastructures, especially roads and bridges, are the blood vessels of our country’s economy connecting all areas in the Kingdom of Cambodia; so that it will become a fully functional economic body that can achieve internal integration and external integration of Cambodia’s economy into the region as well as in the world. Also it is a key of economic growth, and it is making sure that sharing of economic growth reach each Cambodian citizen equally. In this spirit, the Royal Government of Cambodia is required to continue working hard in the restoration and development of transportation physical infrastructures including: roads, railways, river routes, sea routes, international ports and airports. And it also requires practice of open sky policy so that trade, investment, agriculture and transportation activities across the border etc. can be promoted and developed.

Furthermore, these means provide opportunity for the people to find good markets for their produces; and it is a good economic measure that highly enables famers to avoid exploitations, unfair quality of agricultural products, lowering the price by middlemen that makes them lose their income, lose interest in farming and cause them give up their farming careers. Consequently, they would migrate to urban areas or abroad to look for better paid jobs. This point shows the common aspect of the interest provided by bridges and roads; and it also shows the hard work of the Royal Government that always consider all these priorities as very important priorities. Though Cambodia does not have a large source of capital to invest in physical infrastructures in this location, still the Royal Government of Cambodia has tried to persuade other investors to invest in those sectors.

Taking this opportunity, the Royal Government and I myself would like to warmly welcome and deeply thank Luk OknhaLy Yong Phat, President of LYP Group for having invested heavily in the improvement of our society for the development and progress of Cambodia. All these robust activities are good gestures of private sector that has been fulfilling the day-to-day growing demand in infrastructures of Cambodian people. Also, the private sector has been involved vigorously with the improvement of the physical infrastructure in Phnom Penh- the heart of the Royal Government of Cambodia, administration, diplomacy, economy, commerce, industry and tourism- to speed up the development of the capital. This involvement is very meaningful and important for the internal integration and regional integration regarding the development of economy, tourism, and the creation of many employment opportunities, which improve the living standard of Cambodian people and speedily lift them out of poverty.

Generally, I myself always regard private sector as not only the engine of economic growth but also as a sector that plays a crucial role complementing the Royal Government’s public investment; particularly investment in physical infrastructure that helps solve the problem facing the increase in population and vehicles that have been growing from one year to another. Obviously, along the National Road 6A and the National Road 5, there are often heavy traffic jams as these two are important routes for people to travel from a number of provinces to the Capital City of Phnom Penh. These provinces include Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Pursat, and Kampong Chhnang. And now Japan-Cambodia Friendship Bridge, the only way to come to the Phnom Penh from the National Road 6A, is congested with traffics every day. Thus, this investment will really be helping reduce the traffic jams in Chruoy Chongva area. This bridge links the National Road 6A to the National Road 5, thus it diverts the heavy transportation truck traffics from National Road 6A and 5 to National Road 4 without passing through Phnom Penh Capital.

It is true that society’s need has constantly been growing from day-to-day in all areas, particuarly the increase in traffic. In this situation, if we do not encourage private sector to invest in bridges and roads, we will not be able to solve the traffic congestion, internal intergration of this area, and will not be able to achieve the economic effectiveness and efficiency, and the share of economic growth with equity, even for the areas next to the Phnom Penh Captial.

In this spirit, I myself would like to ask relevant instittuions, especially the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) and local authorities to, by all means, continue to persuade private investors and and investment in physical infrastructure, especially for areas along upstream Mekong River, downstream Mekong River, Basac River, Tonle Sap and other areas that have high economic potential. Parellel with this, we also have other ambitions such as constructions of highways, railways, ports, and skyway bridges in order to speed up the development and achieve the importance of integration, and increase the reputation of Cambodia in the international stage. Since we are fully at peace with political stability, we have tremendous potential ability to focu on socio-economic development. In this regard, we have to use this opportunity and existing resources to make this era become a strong foundation for the other develpments of the future generations, as we have inherited from the legacy left by our ancestors during the prosperous Angkor period. In this sense, we have to use all available opportunities resources, aiming to make this regime become a strong basic foundation for the development of next generation as we all have received from our ancestors during the Angkor era.

Taking this apportunity, I would like the LYP.Group Company to look for other new possibilities through this picture, at any areas which has high potential economic, to continue building and strengthening the Cambodian economic foundation. This will help accelerate Cambodia’s integration with equal treat to all affairs in region as well as in the world, and Cambodia will achieve sustainable economic growth while an appreciated victory will be ensured for our country.

On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I strongly agree with a great will and effort to encurage the building of phisical infrastructures which is a priority and uniqe policy we have designed to upgrate and develope to catch up with the neibouringing countries in the near future. In this sense, we could clearly see that our effort to build and get any achievments for the whole countries will help to develop socio-economy through the Rectangular Strategy, including growth, employment, equity, and efficiency. It is the fact that the building of the phisical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, transportation, infrastructure, electricity power system, have contributed Cambodia to reach an average economic growth of 10,3% during 2004-2008. At the same time, the average income per capita increased three times from 229$ in 1993 to 739$ in 2008. Also, the poverty rate decreased from 50% in 1993 to 30% in 2007, and continued to decrease at 27, 4% in 2009. This proves that Cambodia’s economic growth and poverty reduction is depending on the direct interaction of all phisical structures. It is true that many achievements that we all have got, is our magnificent pride for our country which could not be bargained, because we have started from scratch to develop all sectors after the Victory Day of 7 January, 1979, since we all have taken greatest effort to build and develop our socio-economy. Our great effort since the past has been continuing to flourish with unlimited fruitful results, and then it has become the basic foundation for our future development. This great output brings us an encuragement to continue our effort, enhance and glorify the phisical infrastructure from our soul and will toward reaching florish stage of development for the socio-economic development of Cambodia.

At the same time, even we have, so far, done many achievements, still, we continue to urgently solve other important issues including human resouce develoment, improve organization capacity, also continue to enhance and extend socio-economic infrastructure, which is an important key to attract bussines investment, improve agriculture sector, industrial sector, agro-industry, agri-bussiness, tourism, construction, people’s welfare, sustainable economics growth, and quick poverty reduction.

Meanwhile, I would like to appeal to all people who live in this area as well to all levels of local authorities to join hand and cooperate with each others, which is a proper Khmer character, in order to protect and maintain these roads and bridges for long use for the next generation.

Finally, along with this joyful meeting of the official inauguration of this “Cement Bridge Crossing Tonle Sap and the Road Connected from Easter River Bank of the Bridge to National Road 6A”, May I wish Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished National and International Guests, Teachers and all Students, and all Compatriots the four gems of Buddhist blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health, and Strength.