PHNOM PENH - Economic activity in Cambodia will become increasingly important to alleviate the gap between the rich and the poor, an economic analyst says.
Andre Pouilles-Duplaix, director of the French Development Agency, told VOA Khmer in a recent interview that Cambodia’s poor must see increased revenue and development after the July 27 polls.
After the election, he said, economic and social activities in Cambodia need to be those of possibility and fairness, so that “no one would be left living on the road.”
The French Development Agency, which is celebrating 20 years in Cambodia, has put nearly $360 million into Cambodia in grants and loans to develop infrastructure, agriculture and vocational training.
Pouilles-Duplaix said the challenge now is to increase the earnings of the many Cambodians living in poverty. “Even the poor and poorest must get increased revenue,” he said.
That need comes amid a changing investment and development climate in Cambodia, one that has seen some shifts away from Western aid and the rise of China’s influence.
Pouilles-Duplaix said that these days, the work of the French Development Agency is “modest” compared to the amount of economic aid coming in from China. “We cannot do development like China has done in Cambodia,” he said.
Still, he said, “every euro we provide to Cambodia must impact most Cambodian people.”