Minerals Are Priority Number Seven, PM Says

Prime Minister Hun Sen an­nounced at the groundbreaking of a mas­sive Thai-Cambodian joint ven­­ture cement factory in Kam­pot province Thursday that mineral resources are the country’s se­­venth national development pri­or­­ity .

Hun Sen predicted that the an­nual national demand for cement would rise to 2.7 million tons by 2012.

In 2000, that figure was only 656,000 tons, but it reached one mil­­lion tons in 2005 and is expected to rise to 1.6 million tons in 2006.

Cambodia could also produce ot­her raw materials that it currently imports, including oil and natural gas, which have been found in collaboration with fossil fuels gi­ant Chevron, Hun Sen said.

Mineral resources now join ir­ri­ga­­tion, transportation, electricity, hu­man resources, the garment in­du­stry and tourism as the nation’s top development priorities.

“This process is a big step for the government of Cambodia to re­­­form the industrial sector in or­der to develop an appropriate en­vi­ronment and private investors’ con­fidence to do business and in­vest in Cambodia,” Hun Sen said.

He added that the Kampot ce­ment factory is a model for ventures that can be mutually benefi­ci­al by meeting priority needs for Cam­bodia—in this case, the cons­truc­tion of housing and various in­fra­structure projects—and its foreign investment partners.

Men Den, an economist and mi­nerals expert for the Cam­bo­di­an National Petroleum Authority, ad­ded coal, gold, gems and other stones to the premier’s list of mineral resources in Cambodia, but he declined to say how much he be­lieves may be out there.

Men Den confirmed that coal has already been located in Cam­bo­dia, but said he was not able to dis­close whether the sites are com­mercially viable.

“In other countries, mineral re­sources are the top priority,” he said. “When we have cheap po­wer, the rest of the investments will come along.” By Kay Kimsong

the cambodia daily

Prime Minister Hun Sen an­nounced at the groundbreaking of a mas­sive Thai-Cambodian joint ven­­ture cement factory in Kam­pot province Thursday that mineral resources are the country’s se­­venth national development pri­or­­ity .

Hun Sen predicted that the an­nual national demand for cement would rise to 2.7 million tons by 2012.

In 2000, that figure was only 656,000 tons, but it reached one mil­­lion tons in 2005 and is expected to rise to 1.6 million tons in 2006.

Cambodia could also produce ot­her raw materials that it currently imports, including oil and natural gas, which have been found in collaboration with fossil fuels gi­ant Chevron, Hun Sen said.

Mineral resources now join ir­ri­ga­­tion, transportation, electricity, hu­man resources, the garment in­du­stry and tourism as the nation’s top development priorities.

“This process is a big step for the government of Cambodia to re­­­form the industrial sector in or­der to develop an appropriate en­vi­ronment and private investors’ con­fidence to do business and in­vest in Cambodia,” Hun Sen said.

He added that the Kampot ce­ment factory is a model for ventures that can be mutually benefi­ci­al by meeting priority needs for Cam­bodia—in this case, the cons­truc­tion of housing and various in­fra­structure projects—and its foreign investment partners.

Men Den, an economist and mi­nerals expert for the Cam­bo­di­an National Petroleum Authority, ad­ded coal, gold, gems and other stones to the premier’s list of mineral resources in Cambodia, but he declined to say how much he be­lieves may be out there.

Men Den confirmed that coal has already been located in Cam­bo­dia, but said he was not able to dis­close whether the sites are com­mercially viable.

“In other countries, mineral re­sources are the top priority,” he said. “When we have cheap po­wer, the rest of the investments will come along.”

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