Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday praised his “Win-Win Policy,” which he said has ensured peace and helped build the economy and develop Cambodia since 1998.
The remark from the long-time ruler came as he delivered a speech at the 75th session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) in Bangkok, under the theme “Empowering People and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality.”
Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge soldier, claimed that through his Win-Win Policy, Cambodia has been achieving strong economic growth for the past two decades, with GDP rates increasing up to 7.7 percent annually.
He added that the poverty rate has also dropped from 53 percent in 2004 to 13.5 percent in 2014 and is currently expected to have dropped to around 10 percent.
The premier stressed to a hall of attending delegates that with this positive progress following twenty years of peace, ordinary Cambodians have participated in maintaining harmony in the country.
“Based on this experience, the entire Cambodian nation highly values the effort in continuing to preserve peace and stability as well as encourage inclusive development, which is yielding true results for Cambodians throughout the country,” he said.
Hun Sen’s announcement about Cambodian’s social and economic progress over the past two decades comes as the European Union is conducting an eighteen-month revision for the suspension of a trade preference known as “Everything But Arms” due to the country’s human rights and democratic setbacks.
The EU’s measure has stirred worries among private-sector representatives, including the European Chamber of Commerce, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), as well as independent unions, all of whom foresee severe economic damages should Cambodia lose EBA preferences.
To celebrate his Win-Win achievement, Hun Sen built a so-called “Win-Win Monument.”
Rong Chhun, a former member of the National Election Committee (NEC), previously said that the construction of the Win-Win Monument does not reflect the reality in Cambodia. He said there is no more civil war. Rather, he said, Cambodia is plagued by political prosecutions and violation of human rights, all of which have drawn international condemnation.