ADB Calls On Gov’t to Take Action

An Asian Development Bank vice president on Wednesday urged the government to take action on promised reforms in fi­nance, economy and decentralization, officials said.

In a meeting with Finance Minister Keat Chhon, Myoung-Ho Shin, former senior official of South Korea’s Finance Ministry, applauded the government’s reform efforts in various areas, but requested further action, said Urooj Malik, new country representative of the ADB Phnom Penh office.

“We’re happy to see the pro­gress in reforms and the government’s political will,” said Malik, who also attended the meeting. “The vice president strongly encouraged the government to take actions on the reforms because implementation is more important.”

The one-and-half-hour discussion centered around fiscal re­form, establishment of a rule of law and economic governance, officials said.

As ADB has assisted in drafting critical property, forestry and audit laws, Shin requested the government proceed to pass the three laws, Malik said. The vice president also reiterated the government should commit to key elements of economic governance—public administration reform, fiscal management, legal reform, decentralization and regional economic cooperation, Malik reported.

Keat Chhon responded that Prime Minister Hun Sen is committed to reform, and has taken action since the Consultative Group Meeting in Tokyo in Fe­bruary, a Finance Ministry official said.

Shin, who arrived in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, is scheduled to meet Hun Sen today after attending a signing ceremony on a previously announced $68 million ADB loan to rehabilitate National Roads 5, 6 and 7. During his five-day stay, the ADB vice president also will meet with National Assembly President Prince Ranariddh, among other top officials.

 

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