India pledges millions in loans to Cambodia

April 10th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

Anil Wadhwa, India’s deputy foreign minister, met with Foreign Minister Hor Namhong on Wednesday and promised to honor his request for millions of dollars in loans, a spokesman said. …

He [Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong] said that Mr. Namhong then requested money to complete an electric transmission line between Kratie and Stung Treng provinces.

“India has already helped with $30 million but it is not yet complete. The deputy prime minister [Mr. Namhong] asked for further loans of $20 million to complete this project,” Mr. Kuong said.

Mr. Namhong also requested $37 million for a “water resources development” project in Kompong Speu province, he added.

Khuon Narim
http://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/india-pledges-millions-in-loans-to-cambodia-56302/

Cambodia, India discuss ways to promote bilateral ties

April 9th, 2014 , Xinhuanet News

Cambodian and Indian senior diplomats on Wednesday discussed ways to strengthen and expand bilateral relations and cooperation for mutual benefits of the two countries and peoples.

The talk was made between Cambodian deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and Indian Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (East) Anil Wadhwa. …

Xinhuanet News Staff
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2014-04/09/c_133250010.htm

Cambodia leads doubts over AEC

April 7th, 2014 , The Diplomat

In a rare moment of honesty a Cambodian official has admitted his doubts about his country’s ability to meet regional expectations in time for the launch of the much vaunted ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of 2015.

“If you talk about short-term: Yes, we are not ready,” Chuop Narath, deputy director of the department of employment and manpower at Cambodia’s Labor Ministry, said during a recent labor rights forum.

ASEAN officials and senior ministers from each government of the 10-member trading bloc have been adamant—after several setbacks—that a single regional market would fly by the end of Myanmar’s turn as chair next year.

However, doubts have persisted over their insistence, particularly in regards to poorer members like Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. This is in part due to the marked cultural differences within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). …

Luke Hunt
http://thediplomat.com/2014/04/cambodia-leads-doubts-over-aec/

Experts discuss legitimacy of Government without Opposition

April 1st, 2014 , VOA Khmer

Diplomats, legal experts and political analysts all met in a forum in Phnom Penh Tuesday to discuss the implications of last year’s election and the ongoing political deadlock.

Some diplomats, like Dinesh Patnaik, India’s ambassador to Cambodia, questioned the legitimacy of a government the opposition refuses to join. …

Kong Sothanarith, Khoun Theara
http://www.voacambodia.com/content/experts-discuss-legitimacy-of-government-without-opposition-/1883843.html

Government says drug seizures, trafficking rose in 2013

March 25th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

Drug seizures jumped last year, while drug arrests remained relatively steady, according to the annual report from the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) released Monday.

As in 2012, methamphetamine retained its position as the most commonly seized type of drug.

Police confiscated 17.3 kg of methamphetamine pills last year, a jump from the 10.6 kg seized in 2012. Some 32.4 kg of methamphetamine powder was seized last year, compared to 28 kg in 2012, according to the NACD report. …

Khy Sovuthy
http://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/government-says-drug-seizures-trafficking-rose-in-2013-54862/

Cambodian PM holds opposition-backed unions responsible for future factory closures due to strikes

February 25th, 2014 , Xinhuanet News

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Tuesday that the opposition-aligned unions, inciting garment workers to stage strikes for higher wages, must take responsibilities for any future closures of factories.

“The government has worked very hard to attract investors to build factories and has urged manufacturers to increase wages for workers every year,” he said during the inauguration of a coal- fired power plant in Preah Sihanouk province.

“We wait and see if any factories close doors due to demonstrations or strikes demanding higher wages,” the prime minister said. “When investors close factories, (unemployed) workers should hold protests against those inciting unions and demand those inciters to find jobs for them.” …

The prime minister’s remarks came after a coalition of 18 opposition-aligned trade unions and associations have incited garment and footwear workers to boycott working overtime since Monday to demand a 160 U.S. dollars minimum wage and the release of 21 detained protesters. …

Xinhuanet News Staff
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2014-02/25/c_133142013.htm

Indian cultural week to kick off in Cambodia Thursday

February 12th, 2014 , Xinhuanet News

The Festivals of India including a photo show and dance performances will be held in Cambodia’s Phnom Penh and Siem Reap cities from Feb. 13 to Feb. 19, according to a media statement from the Indian Embassy in Cambodia on Wednesday. …

Speaking at a press briefing Wednesday, Indian Ambassador to Cambodia Dinesh K. Patnaik said the event is aimed at promoting cultural relations between the two countries. …

Xinhuanet News Staff
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/culture/2014-02/12/c_133109966.htm

India urges more trade action

January 30th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

The Indian ambassador to Cambodia is calling on the government to reduce exorbitant shipping costs and take better advantage of a tariff scheme that India offers, two obstacles that the diplomat says are discouraging bilateral trade.

Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik said on Tuesday that Indian businesses exporting goods to and from Cambodia are paying port fees estimated to be as much as $800 per 20-foot container, compared with $400 in Vietnam.

Consequently, Patnaik described how instead of shipping directly to and from Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, Indian businesses are sending goods to Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh port and moving them overland.

“Indian businesses are opting to ship bulk to Ho Chi Minh port as their main entry point, then transporting by road to Cambodia,” he said. “Cambodia’s government needs to keep port prices down.”

His second complaint refers to a 2009 duty-free trade agreement under which the Indian government grants Cambodia an 85 per cent reduction on Indian customs fees. …

According to the Indian Department of Commerce, volumes (imports and exports) between India and Cambodia increased nearly 17 per cent, from $106 million in the 2011-2012 fiscal year to $124 million in the 2012-2013 period. India’s fiscal year runs from April 1 through March 31. …

Eddie Morton
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/business/india-urges-more-trade-action

Water Resources Minister Seeks Investigation Into Exported Sand

November 12th, 2013 , The Cambodia Daily

Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology Lim Kean Hor said Monday that he would seek an investigation into a $1.5-million haul of river sand exported to India in April in spite of a ban on the export of dredged sand handed down by Prime Minister Hun Sen in 2009.

India’s Deccan Chronicle reported last week that about 30,000 tons of Cambodian river sand had been sitting on the docks of the southern Indian port city of Cochin for more than six months, having been repeatedly denied customs clearance since its arrival.

Documents from a case at the Kerala State High Court over the quarantine of the consignment revealed a Koh Kong province river as the origin of the sand.

Mr. Kean Hor said that he would like to see the export of the sand investigated but ex­plained that the Committee for Sand Resources Management within his ministry only had the power to request such an investigation and not actually carry one out. …

Hul Reaksmey
http://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/water-resources-minister-seeks-investigation-into-exported-sand-46848/

Despite Ban, $1.5M of Cambodian Sand Turns Up in India

November 8th, 2013 , The Cambodia Daily

A huge haul of river sand dredged in Cambodia has been quarantined at the southern Indian port city of Cochin since its arrival in April despite a ban on sand exports instituted by Prime Minister Hun Sen in 2009.

India’s Deccan Chronicle news­paper reported on Tuesday that a shipment of river sand imported from Cambodia by Indian company Raja Steel Private Ltd. has been sitting in the docks of Cochin for the past six months, having been repeatedly denied customs clearance.

“More than 32,000 tonnes of sand imported from Cambodia remains dumped at the Cochin Port for more than six months,” the report says, citing fears that the piles of sand could “cause ecological impacts as they could contain microorganisms or other biological materials.”

A Times of India report published in June says the consignment of sand is worth about $1.5 million. …

Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology Lim Kean Hor confirmed Thursday that the export ban is still in place.

“The ban has not yet lifted,” Mr. Kean Hor said. “There are few places where small-scale dredging of sand is allowed because it would affect construction, for example, but dredging for export is totally prohibited.” …

A collection of videos posted to YouTube in March and April this year under the name Zhuang Yong shows river sand being dredged onto a ship that is identified in a video title as the Hongxin Blue Sea ship.

A caption on one video identifies the location of the dredging operation as Koh Kong’s Sre Ambel district.

Contacted on Wednesday on a telephone number linked to the YouTube account, Mr. Yong confirmed that he worked for a sand dredging firm in Koh Kong province. However, Mr. Yong declined to identify the name of the company he worked for and referred questions to LYP Group.

LYP is owned by prominent businessman and CPP Senator Ly Yong Phat. Despite the sand export ban, LYP was issued a license in September 2010 to dredge sand from Koh Kong’s Tatai River.

On July 16, 2011, the Water Resources Ministry ordered LYP to stop dredging on the Tatai so that it could conduct a review of its operations. The Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy later that month issued a 12-month extension on LYP’s dredging license, rendering it valid until September 2012.

Mr. Kean Hor claimed that all sand dredging operations in Koh Kong province had ceased after the expiration of LYP’s license. …

Alex Willemyns and Kuch Naren
http://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/despite-ban-1-5m-of-cambodian-sand-turns-up-in-india-46753/

Cambodia’s construction attracts over 2 bln USD investment in 8 months

September 27th, 2013 , Xinhuanet News

PHNOM PENH, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) — Cambodia’s construction sector had received a total investment of 2.14 billion U.S. dollars in the first eight months of the year, up 40 percent from 1.53 billion U.S. dollars over the same period last year, a government report showed Friday.

From January to August this year, the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction had issued constructing licenses to 1,100 projects throughout the country. …

Xinhuanet News Staff
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/business/2013-09/27/c_132755769.htm

Tata moves in on agriculture

September 12th, 2013 , The Phnom Penh Post

India-based Tata International Ltd announced yesterday that it would import and distribute its Farmtrac Tractors in Cambodia to profit from the country’s growing agricultural sector.

Speaking at the launching ceremony at the Koh Pich exhibition centre, Jitendra Manghinani, country manager of Tata South East Asia (Cambodia), said Cambodia is looking at a large agricultural machinery market in the next four or five years, which shaped his decision to set up operations in the sector. …

Four kinds of tractors will go on the market, ranging from 50 to 80 horsepower. Prices start at $22,300 and go as high as $32,600. …

Cambodia imported some 40,000 units of tractors in 2010, according to the most recent government data. A year later, 44,000 units arrived, while the number decreased slightly to around 36,300 in 2012. …

Hor Kimsay
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/business/tata-moves-agriculture

Cambodia organizes int’l industrial machinery, garment exhibition

August 8th, 2013 , Xinhuanet News

The 3rd international industrial machinery and garment fair kicked off at Cambodian capital’s Diamond Island Exhibition Center on Thursday with the participation of about 240 exhibitors from 16 countries and regions. …

A variety of industrial machinery for the production of textile and garment, footwear, plastics and rubber, printing and packaging, food processing and medicines are on display at the event.

Speaking at the opening of the fair, Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh said Cambodian industrial base mainly relied on garment and accounted for about 75 percent of the country’s industrial sector. “The exhibition is really a cognitive approach for Cambodia to develop its current and future machinery industries with up-to- date modern technologies,” he said. …

Xinhuanet News Staff
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/business/2013-08/08/c_132613974.htm

Cambodia tests ‘super rice’ to fortify its children

July 24th, 2013 , The Csmonitor

For breakfast, it’s rice. For lunch, it’s rice again, and for dinner – rice. Sometimes, Cambodian Un Koy says, her mother will prepare some beans or carrots, and on very special days even fish or pork. …

Across Asia, rice is the most widely consumed staple. That’s especially true in Cambodia, where it constitutes 70 percent of the rural population’s calorie intake. For Koy, the rice diet – low in zinc, iron, and vitamins B and D – has led to underdevelopment, say specialists. Health professionals say some 1 billion children suffer from similar malnourishment worldwide.

Now, a team of researchers from the Marseille-based Institute of Research for Development in Cambodia are close to bringing that number of malnourished children down by fortifying their staple diet with nutrients. The IRD team is currently evaluating a survey among 2,500 school children who participated in a pilot free meal project, substituting their World Food program free meal of rice, with fortified rice once a day on every school day for breakfast. …

“Food insecurity has become much less of a problem in Southeast Asia in recent years. But the food people get is lacking quality. So they eat a lot of rice, which gives them energy, but no nutrients,” says senior IRD researcher Frank Wieringa, who leads the project. …

“The main aim of the school meals was to get kids to go to school and make sure they are not hungry, because that makes it difficult to study. But now, we have learned that it is a beautiful way to add essential vitamins and minerals to the diet of the children,” says Wieringa. …

Currently, the WFP annually spends about $23 to feed one child one meal per day in a Cambodian school. By spending an extra $0.50 per year on each child, the organization could have a local factory produce and fortify that rice and have better results. …

Denise Hruby
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2013/0724/Cambodia-tests-super-rice-to-fortify-its-children

Asian garment industry to undergo further segmentation

July 15th, 2013 , The China Daily

The Asian garment manufacturing industry will undergo further segmentation in the next three to four years as competition becomes more intense, experts said. China, Thailand and Vietnam will mainly produce high-end clothing, while Bangladesh, Laos, Burma and Cambodia will mainly produce low-end clothing. …

Lu Qijian, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia said that Cambodia’s garment and textile exports make up more than 80 percent of the country’s gross export business. Its contribution to the nation’s GDP accounts for 15 percent to 18 percent. The garment export income of Bangladesh makes up about 78 percent of the country’s annual foreign exchange income. …

Cheap labor has always been an advantage of the Asian textile and garment industry as it is more evident in South Asian countries. But in recent years, labor costs have been rising. Minimum wage in Vietnam has gone up by 20 percent, and Indonesia and Laos are at 20 percent and 22 percent this year. The average monthly salary for a Cambodian is almost 100 dollars, which leads to labor shortage issues. …

In 2012, Cambodia imported from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan and South Korea raw materials worth $3.12 billion.

Liu Xiaozhuo
http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2013-07/15/content_16778408.htm

Myanmar rice is back

July 10th, 2013 , The Phnom Penh Post

While exports of Cambodian rice have been booming, analysts are predicting that new competition from Myanmar could eventually rain on the parade.

Cambodia exported nearly 176,000 tonnes of rice in the first six months of the year, a 125 per cent increase from the same period in 2012, when about 78,000 tonnes left the country.

Most of that, or about 60 per cent, went to countries in the European Union, which grants Cambodia duty-free tariffs under its Everything But Arms agreement to provide opportunities for growth. …

Before 1962, when the military that would rule for the next 50 years seized power, Myanmar was considered the world’s top rice exporter. …

In the latest rice market monitor for April, the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization downgraded its prediction for Myanmar rice exports this year from 600,000 to 500,000 tonnes, citing “limited processing capacity” and electricity shortages across the country.

Though the FAO sees potential for Myanmar rice in Japan, a recent report from the United States Department of Agriculture says that India, which re-entered the export market in 2011, has moved in on Myanmar’s more traditional export partners Bangladesh, the Philippines and West Africa. …

Daniel de Carteret and Hor Kimsay
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/business/myanmar-rice-back

Toyota seeks expansion in Cambodia, emerging markets

July 2nd, 2013 , The Cambodia Herald

Toyota Motor Corp, the world’s largest automaker, is planning to expand their operations in Cambodia as well as other emerging markets.

The move is a push to attract new first time-buyers of automobiles and get about half of global sales from the emerging markets.

Toyota plans to work closely with its Daihatsu Motor Co. unit to develop compact cars for emerging markets, Executive Vice President Yasumori Ihara said at a briefing in Nagoya, Japan, Tuesday. …

The Cambodia Herald
http://www.thecambodiaherald.com/cambodia/detail/1?page=11&token=NzdiZTIzMDNhZDQ

Cambodia’s garment exports up 22 pct in 5 months

June 27th, 2013 , The Cambodia Daily

Cambodia’s garment industry, the country’s biggest income earner, recorded 2.06 billion U.S. dollars in export value in the first five months of this year, up 22 percent on the same period last year, a Commerce Ministry’s report showed Tuesday.

Garment export accounts for more than 80 percent of the country ‘s total exports at present. Last year, the nation earned 4.6 billion U.S. dollars from garment exports, according to the report.

Some 510,600 workers are employed by about 500 factories in the industry, with their monthly minimum wage at 80 U.S. dollars on average. …

Strikes for higher wages or better labor conditions are common seen in this country. According to a report by the Free Trade Union of Workers, last year, about 84,320 workers in 101 factories staged protests.

Asean-China-Center News Staff
http://www.asean-china-center.org/english/2013-06/27/c_132492345.htm

Airline will offer more China trips

June 25th, 2013 , The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia Angkor Air plans to launch chartered flights between Siem Reap and the southeastern coastal Chinese city of Xiamen next month.

The national flag carrier plans to take off for China for the first time on July 11, CAA Chairman Tek Reth Samrach said yesterday, the same month it plans its first scheduled flight to the Chinese city of Guangzhou. …

Anne Renzenbrink
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/2013062566453/Business/airline-will-offer-more-china-trips.html

Cambodia PM says garment firms may quit over wage rows

June 20th, 2013 , The West Australian

Cambodia’s strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday warned garment workers that protests demanding higher wages could push manufacturers to quit the country.

His appeal came after unions last week said hundreds of workers had been fired from a factory making sportswear for US giant Nike after a series of pay protests.

Cambodian workers have repeatedly demonstrated against low wages and tough conditions in the multibillion-dollar textile industry, which produces goods for top western brands.

Currently workers can earn around $110 a month with overtime.

Hun Sen said repeated protests may imperil the country’s lucrative garment industry by persuading firms to relocate to Myanmar, Laos and India where labour is cheaper.

“If the investors move out, it will be a big disaster for our country,” Hun Sen said in a speech broadcast on national radio. …

The premier said some $480 million was paid to workers across the country each month.

The textile industry, which employs about 650,000 people and produces clothes for top western brands, is a key source of foreign income for the country. …

AFP Staff
http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/world/17673882/cambodia-pm-says-garment-firms-may-quit-over-wage-rows/