WITH the passing of a law on farmers’ co-operatives, the government hopes to streng-then the country’s growing agricultural sector, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech at the National Institute of Education yesterday.
“In time, I believe that economic growth will be tremendous in rural areas,” the Prime Minister said.
He said the government’s approval last Friday of a law supporting agricultural co-operatives would enhance growth in farming, as farmers – who traditionally have remained independent of one another – will now have the power to negotiate collectively. …
Prime Minister Hun Sen pushed regional unity at the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Summit yesterday, but criticism directed at Cambodia over the South China Sea ensured the dispute remained front and centre.
As heavily armed guards lined the streets outside the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh, singers, dancers and an orchestra inside heralded the opening of Cambodia’s second summit as chair and the 20th in ASEAN’s 45-year-history.
During an impassioned opening speech, Hun Sen promoted a united ASEAN, focusing on doubling the existing regional currency fund to US$240 billion, as well as responding to the woes of the region’s migrant workers and closing a development gap between member states.
To deal with potential future economic crises, Hun Sen spoke of “strengthening and doubling the size of the current mechanism from US$120 billion to US$240 billion as soon as possible.”
The prime minister said the “free flow of labour” was an important part of an ASEAN Economic Community…
Cheang Sokha and Shane Worrel, P. 1
Digital cash services in Cambodia showed marked increases in users and cash flow in 2011, and still more growth is expected this year as operators launch new services and partnerships to capture a large but still-untapped rural market.
The services, in which customers transfer money via their mobile phones, have in a few short years formed a fledgling market in the Kingdom with about 400,000 users, according to the National Bank of Cambodia. Australian and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd, which has a partnership with domestic conglomerate Royal Group in ANZ Royal Bank, established WING in Cambodia in 2009.
ACLEDA Bank’s Unity hit the market in 2010, followed by CamGSM’s Cellcard Cash last year. CamGSM is owned by Royal Group. Unity, which now requires users to hold an ACLEDA account, saw a 547 per cent increase in cash flow in 2011, with more than $64 million in total transactions, according to ACLEDA senior vice president for marketing Sok Sophea. The bank expects its more than 50,000 users to double this year, Sok Sophea said.
Next month, ACLEDA will allow mobile money accounts for people who don’t have bank accounts, she said. …
Don Weinland, P.9