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Cambodia Pushing for More Benefits From Mekong Integration


Sok Chenda Sophea, secretary general of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, speaks to the press at the GMS Economics Corridors Forum, Thursday August 04, 2016 in Phnom Penh. ( Leng Len/VOA Khmer)

Sok Chenda Sophea, secretary general of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, speaks to the press at the GMS Economics Corridors Forum, Thursday August 04, 2016 in Phnom Penh. ( Leng Len/VOA Khmer)

The government is seeking to develop ways of increasing the benefit felt by Cambodia from economic corridors opened throughout the Greater Mekong Subregion.

The government is seeking to develop ways of increasing the benefit felt by Cambodia from economic corridors opened throughout the Greater Mekong Subregion as part of Asean integration, an official has said.

Sok Chenda Sophea, secretary general of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, told reporters after a meeting of ministers from countries in the region held on Thursday that the government had developed a strategy to remain competitive.

“For instance, last year the royal government of Cambodia adopted an industrial development strategy 2015 to 2025. In that, we mention that we need to develop infrastructure; we need to encourage eco-agriculture; and support small and medium enterprises,” he said.

“But at the same time, we also pointed out that those efforts have to be done along the corridors which link … Phnom Penh to Bavet and Poipet, and along the corridors which link Phnom Penh and Preah Sihanouk province,” he said.

Chan Sophal, president of the Cambodia-based Center for Policy Studies, said it would not be easy to effectively implement an industrial strategy in Cambodia due to overly convoluted bureaucratic systems.

“There are many partners involved and it needs to be done quickly. [We] can’t just wait and wait; wait from one institution to another institution, and when an institution is slow, all institutions will be slowed,” he said.

The economic corridors are intended to spur economic integration in Asean and boost infrastructure development. There are three main economic corridors: one linking China and Asean; one linking the southern countries on mainland Southeast Asia; and another linking Vietnam with Myanmar via Laos.

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