PM, World Bank Talk Reform

A visiting top official of the World Bank and Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday had lengthy talks on cooperation on economic development and social re­forms in preparation for the upcoming Consultative Group meeting in Paris, according to government and Bank officials.

Jean-Michel Severino, the World Bank’s vice president in charge of the Asia-Pacific region, visited the premier at his Phnom Penh residence Monday even­ing. Accompanied by Finance Minister Keat Chhon and other World Bank officials, the two talked for more than two hours.

“[The World Bank vice president] appreciated the government’s efforts on reforms” especially on fiscal and forestry re­form, said a Ministry of Finance official who met the Bank’s delegation earlier. Severino discussed future assistance by donors, emphasizing a close partnership and cooperation among donors, the official said.

The next CG, or major donors, meeting is May 24-26 in Paris.

Some figures were informally mentioned during the meeting between Keat Chhon and Severino, the official said, but he would not disclose the figures. In the last CG meeting in Tokyo in February 1999, donors pledged $470 million, including $75 million by the World Bank.

Severino also met Cabinet Minister Sok An, Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong and Japanese Ambassador Masaki Saito, officials said. Severino is scheduled to travel to Siem Reap today and leave for Bangkok on Wednesday.



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