Hun Sen Touts Summit Gains

The government received millions of dollars’ worth of aid, goods and infrastructure from last week’s Asean and Greater Mekong Sub­region summits, Prime Minister Hun Sen told farmers at a canal inauguration in Ang Snuol district, Kandal province, on Sunday.

China, he said, pledged about $12 million and enough iron to build a 1.5-km bridge, also prom­ising to build a 198-km road. India prom­ised 10,000 tons of rice and $10 million for restoration of historic reservoirs and textile de­velop­­ment.

Thailand offered to ren­­ovate a 160-km stretch of Nation­al Route 4, including four bridges.

Vietnam, the premier said, gave 500 tons of rice, vowed cooperation between its border provinces and Cambodia’s, and said it was working on a road that will reach the northern border. Japan, Cam­bo­dia’s largest foreign donor, prom­ised not to reduce aid despite budget pressures and provided thousands of tons of food through the World Food Program.

South Korea donated a telecommunications and informatics training center, $20 million for renovations of National Route 3, and $1.8 million for irrigation. It also agreed to open its markets to Cambodian coconut and cassava exporters.

Many of the agreements forged at the summits will also benefit Cam­bodia, the premier said. He men­tioned the China-Asean Free Trade Area, which will decrease Ch­i­­nese tariffs on Cambodian goods long before Cambodia must reciprocate. “We can export 297 items to Chi­na under tariff exemptions. This is a great market for us, a market we did not have before,” he said.

“We got quite a lot of benefits from the GMS and Asean summits,” the premier said.

Hun Sen went on to list the aid heaped on Cambodia by various summit participants—a list of donations that went far beyond hospitality gifts.


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