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Cambodia Seeks Trade, Export Development

The Ministry of Commerce launched a trade development project Monday, announcing nearly $12 million toward helping build institutional capacity and promote export products.

“This amount will be used to promote the trade sector, based on the small projects identified by the government,” Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh told reporters Monday. “What is important is that the money will be spent on the priorities identified by the government in the trade sector. Importantly, we are the owner of the projects.”

The project is being financed by the European Commission, the Danish International Aid Agency and the UN Industrial Development Organization.

The money will be spent according to a direction set by the government, Cham Prasidh said. The project will be based on three pillars: solving cross-cutting issues; promoting of export production and a focus on services; and improving institutional capacity.

“This fund will be managed in accordance with the World Bank’s procurement procedures and financial procedures,” said Qimao Fan, Cambodia’s director for the World Bank, which is administering the project.

The European Union, one of Cambodia’s trade partners, will promote different products for Cambodia to export, said Rafael Dochao Moreno, charge d’affaires for the European Commission in Cambodia.

“This project will build the capacity of Cambodia to be able to promote the different products and production exports to the EU,” he said.

Yim Sovann, spokesman for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, said Monday the project would be important for the promotion of Cambodian agricultural exports. However, he said he had little confidence that corruption would be controlled in the project.