Suos Sameth, the retiring country representative of the Asian Development Bank, said Saturday that he will return to Cambodia in two months to chair a soon-to-be-established economic think tank.
The Supreme National Economic Council, an advisory council for Prime Minister Hun Sen and the government, will soon be formed to develop and recommend mid-term and long-term economic policies and strategies, Suos Sameth said at his farewell party.
“The council will have very heavy functions because lots of important decisions for the future development should be made,” he said. “Strategies and policies should be developed in line with good governance and good management, and with the fundamental emphasis on poverty alleviation.”
Finance Minister Keat Chhon confirmed at the reception that the council is being formed and Suos Sameth will be its chair. “After the Paris Peace Accords, he helped Cambodia not only to receive loans from ADB but also get more technical assistance from others,” he said. “As we have a solid partnership, we will go forward with it.”
Suos Sameth, who was appointed the first resident representative for the ADB mission in Phnom Penh in late 1996, retired from the bank Sunday after 29 years of service. He has been involved in assisting Cambodia through ADB projects since the 1993 UN-led national elections.
The ADB, the most important multilateral donor to Cambodia along with the World Bank, has given Cambodia $350 million in loans and $43 million in grants since 1993, Suos Sameth said.
“Suos Sameth is a high-ranking official who made a great contribution to Cambodia,” said Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng at the reception.