Excellency Representative of ASEAN member states
Ladies and Gentlemen!
1. On behalf of Royal Government of Cambodia, it is my great pleasure and honor to participate in this 13th ASEAN – China Forum on Social Development and Poverty Reduction, hosted by the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development of China.
Relevant of the Theme
2. The Theme “Social Development and Poverty Reduction” is very relevant to us all. This Forum is a great opportunity to share experiences, challenges and explore the best way forward through partnership and collaboration. I believe that China – ASEAN can be served as a great platform for China and ASEAN Member State to exchange our view, to build the consensus, to improve our coordination, collaboration and to build synergy among us all.
Outline of the Speech
3. I would like to take this opportunity, first, to share briefly on our country’s experiences. Then, I would like to update what we have done to transform our rural community livelihood, the challenges that we have faced and our vision toward sustainable development.
4. Cambodia has been enjoying the fruits of peace and full territorial unity and integrity as the result of the "Win-Win Policy" of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister. The Royal Government of Cambodia has successfully implemented the Rectangular Strategy for Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency for the last three phases. The Strategy have fulfilled their roles as socio-economic development agenda. After three phases of implementation, profound transformation of economic structure has taken place and people’s livelihoods have been improved in terms of both material and mental aspects through sustainable economic growth, job creation, assurance of social equity and strengthened governance in governments’ institutions.
5. Cambodia has become one of the world’s leader in poverty reduction and shared prosperity. The poverty line fell drastically from 47.8 percent in 2007 to less than 10% nowadays.
Achievement of MDGs
6. We are also successfully achieving MDGs targets. Cambodia ranked fifth among developing countries of the world in achieving the MDGs, and ranked first in the Asia Pacific region in making good progress to improve social indicators.
Creation of MRD
7. To address the rural development specifically, the Royal Government of Cambodia has established the “Ministry of Rural Development” in 1993. The creation of the MRD demonstrates the Government’s dedication to improving living standards and alleviating the poverty of rural people. The Ministry of Rural Development has the responsibility to coordinating, cooperating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating rural development projects and programs in order to rehabilitate and help developing the country’s rural areas by assisting the rural population.
Strategic Objectives of MRD
8. The strategic objectives of our ministry are (1) to promote institutional strengthen, capacity building and human resource development; (2) to build, repair and upgrading physical infrastructures, communication and public services; (3) to improve health, education and living condition; and (4) to generate employment, entrepreneurship and economic activities.
Cross-cutting issues – climate change and gender
9. To ensure sustainability development, climate change has also been taken into consideration to all aspects of rural development activities especially rural infrastructure. Gender mainstreaming is also our mandatory. We pay specially attention to women and children in particular to ensure their participation and benefited from our rural development activities.
10. Electricity is also one of our country’s development target. The Government’s plan is to ensure all villagers have access to electricity by 2020 and at least 70 per cent of all households will have access to reliable, affordable electricity by 2030.
11. Even with such inspiration of development, we are also facing some challenges. Moving forward, we may not be able to rely on the same factors that drove strong growth and poverty reduction over the past two decades, namely agriculture and exports of goods and services mainly garments and tourism. Since we are graduating from being a least-developed country to the lower medium - income country, we have faced progressive decline in donor financing and preferential trade treatment. Interventions
12. In the medium term, Cambodia’s socio-economic development will experience a “New Transformation”, that is the transition to upper middle-income country. This requires further strengthening of the public institutions the structure of the organization, sets of formal and informal rules of law, human resources, means and financial resources which determine work principles and attitude, political, economic and social spheres, within the framework of democratic process and the rule of law that are fully legitimate in order for us to proceed with development by sustaining high economic growth; promoting socio-economic structural change; creating quality jobs for the youth, responding effectively to the expectations of the people, especially addressing the gradually increasing needs of the people, including access to quality public services, physical infrastructure, education, healthcare and other basic services; ensuring social security and welfare of the people; ensuring income security especially for the vulnerable groups; ensuring balanced and lower development gap between urban and rural areas; remaining flexible and vigilant with regional and global developments; taking full advantages of technological development and digitalization especially in the context of the fourth industrial revolution; and lastly; stepping up the effectiveness of the protection and conservation of the environment, natural resources, ecosystem, biodiversity, forest and wildlife sanctuaries as well as adaptation to climate change.
Ladies and gentlemen !
Important of ASEAN
13. Indeed, the ASEAN has been very important to Cambodia. Our Prime Minister has indicated that Cambodia is well - prepared to work with all stakeholders to undertake tasks aiming to achieve the “ASEAN Community Vision 2025: Forging Ahead Together” for long-term peace, security, stability and prosperity for all nations in the region. This is the prime reason that Cambodian have attached great importance to regional integration and connectivity. Cambodia has actively participated in the ASEAN affairs and other regional initiatives including “One Belt, One Road” initiative as well as bilateral and multilateral cooperation, including double taxation agreements.
14. I believe that, the way forward, Community-Country-Regional-Global connectivity shall be the main focus for prosperity and sustainable development. We need to do more to deepen economic integration. This connectivity is also an opportunity for enhancing human capital through cross-country exchanges of knowledge and skills.
15. In order to achieve our long-term vision, becoming upper middle - income country by 2030 and high - income country by 2050, Cambodia will unwaveringly and actively continue implementing open economic policy through devoting a greater deal of efforts on linking and integrating of all sectors into regional and global economy, speeding up structural reforms as well as upgrading institutional capacity and human resources.
Thank you very much for your kind attention!