Cambodia Must Find Solutions to Encourage Faster Exports – Saturday, 5.6.2010

Posted on 6 June 2010. Filed under: Week 667 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 667

“Phnom Penh: The encouragement for the faster export of Khmer products is still a big challenge, as the legal procedures to process export documentation are time consuming, as all documents have to go across too many desks in the administration, which results in delayed operations and high expenses, making Cambodia unable to compete on international markets with neighboring countries.

“A Royal Government advisor and a member of the Supreme National Economic Council, Mr. Sok Siphana, said early last week at the Phnom Penh Hotel, during a national workshop about the encouragement by the Rectangular Strategy for a better commercial operationalization, in order to improve business procedures for commerce, ‘We must find solutions that encourage faster commercial operations. This workshop will present many key measures, and we will discuss to find out how many stages there are to be passed, when rice is brought by farmers to be sold at a seaport, and then from the seaport to foreign countries, and what difficulties are encountered, so that they can be reduced, to improve and speed up commercial operations. We must know which steps should be eliminated or which steps could be adjusted.’

Note:

From The Mirror of Thursday, 29.4.2010: The 15th Royal Government-Private Sector Forum Was Held

“Before the private sectors can export anything, they have to ask for permissions from many places, wasting much money and time. To export more than 200 tonnes of rice is even more difficult and takes even longer time. The private sector needs to gain permissions from the Green Trade structure, that has the exclusive right to export rice. Then they need to ask for permission from many other ministries and institutions. Also, the working teams mentioned that for the transportation of livestock from Preah Vihear to Phnom Penh this process required to cross up to 37 check points, and companies have to pay both official and unofficial money at all those posts. Therefore, they asked the government to eliminate these activities.”

“Mr. Sok Siphana added that it was a technical workshop, attended mainly by senior customs officials and officials from the Ministry of Commerce, while the Supreme National Economic Council as a researcher, provided the necessary backup. The emphasis was on the export of rice, cashew nuts, soy beans, corn, and cassava; the import items considered were mostly medicines.

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“Ms. Shamika Sirimanne, Chief, Socioeconomic Analysis Section at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP), in Bangkok, said that the workshop will contribute to find key measures to encourage least developed countries to export products faster, in order to cut down time and expenses at different stages of the process. This problem affects exports abroad. She added, ‘According to our research, the export of products from Cambodia takes 50% more time than in other developing countries in this region. This shows that one cannot compete with other countries in the region in exports. Mr. Sok Siphana said, ‘Much rice is being exported. Also, our rice milling technology is advanced. The problem is that much of paddy rice produced by farmers is taken out to neighboring countries. This happens because we do not have trade credits to first buy much rice for storing and milling, and then to export it. As for the provision of credits, if the interest rates from banks are too high, farmers cannot ask for loans. Some banks boast that they have much money, but they do not dare to provide credits to farmers. Some banks do not have experts on agriculture working to provide loans to farmers. A large number of banks agree only to offer loans when clients have land or house titles for the bank’s security. This does not include big investors on agriculture, who can easily pay back the money they borrowed, or who can reduce their debt quickly.

“Mr. Sok Siphana said that about 20,000 tonnes of rice were exported in 2009. – This workshop was supported by UN ESCAP that had sent well-known experts from India and from the World Bank to share their experiences with Khmer officials.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5216, 6.6.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 5 June 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #496, 6.6.2010

  • The Royal Government Decides to Change the Cambodia Post Services into a Public Enterprise
  • The Minister of Finance of Japan [Mr. Kan Naoto – 菅直人] Becomes Prime Minister

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2267, 6.6.2010

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Announced to Cancel the Collection of Market Fees by the Roth Sensopheap Company [except for parking and toilet fees, but not on their sales turnover – Phnom Penh]
  • Traders Are Actively Transporting Wood from the Animal Habitat Forest in Snuol District [according to local citizens – Kratie]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #674, 5.6.2010

  • [The acting president of the Sam Rainsy Party] Kong Korm: We Asks the Government to Take 4 June as the Date to Commemorate the Loss of Khmer Kampuchea Krom Land [to Vietnam in 1994]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6974, 5-6.6.2010

  • The Cambodian Mine Action Center Shares Its Experience in Mine Clearance Internationally: with Colombia

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5216, 6.6.2010

  • Cambodia Must Find Solutions to Encourage Faster Exports
  • [Opposition party president] Sam Rainsy Plans to Go to the Philippines to Meet with Parliamentarians and Democrats in Asia [at the end of this month, to welcome the newly elected president of the Philippines when he takes office]
  • Only about 100,000 Motorbike Drivers among More Than 1,000,000 Have Driving Licenses
  • Two Lightnings Killed a Person and a Buffalo and Injured Another Person [Kompong Chhnang]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
And please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.

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World No-Food Day: CEDAC Said that Around 100,000 Families in Cambodia Lack Sufficient Food – Saturday, 18.10.2008

Posted on 19 October 2008. Filed under: Week 582 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 582

“Phnom Penh: At present, starving people are more numerous than before – around 150 million people. This is according to a statement of the co-chair of the People’s Coalition on Food Security, Mr. Antonio Tujan, during a World Food Day celebration on 16 October 2008.

“Dr. Yang Saing Koma, the director of the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture – CEDAC – said during a press conference on 16 October 2008 at the organization’s headquarters in Phnom Penh, that around 100,000 families in Cambodia, corresponding to half a million people, lack food. In 2008, Cambodia faces the challenge of a food crisis because of the high price of food in the world. Mr. Yang Saing Koma added that CEDAC works with farmers from 2,000 villages countrywide and had discovered that 50%, or half of farmers who do rice farming, could not produce sufficient food during the year. Among 1.8 million farmers’ families doing rice farming, 500,000 to 600,000 families could not produce enough food. 800,00 families could afford to buy rice themselves over one month during the late rainy season.

“CEDAC found that this is because land to produce food does not increase. Although the agriculturally usable land of the whole country is six million hectares, but food can only be produced from more than three million hectares at the present time. Another factor is the lack of rain or that the rain comes late, and the irrigation system can serve only 40% of the total land. In Takeo and Kompong Chhnang, 80% of the farmers own rice fields smaller than one hectare per family.

“The executive director of the Pesticide Action Network Asia & the Pacific [“- Empowering People for Change -”] Ms. Sarojini Rengam, said during the World Food Day on 16 October 2008 that this was a message to show the people’s strategies to solve the food crisis. This anniversary builds up public understanding about major factors that result in food crisis [chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides], and it acts to increase the people’s voice against new policies and their effects.

“A farmer, Bouen Sophal, who is the community representative of Dang Tung district of Kampot, who also attended this anniversary celebration, reported that some farmers in Kampot face difficulties to buy chemical fertilizer from Vietnam which is expensive. After the paddy rice is cultivated, the paddy rice is sold, but it is not enough just to repay the money for the chemical fertilizer. Farmers buy chemical fertilizer from different companies and merchants, and most of them borrow money from other people or are in dept, and after they sold their paddy rice, what they get is almost insufficient to repay the dept. During each cultivation reason, farmers sell tens of thousands of tonnes of paddy rice to Vietnam. When they run out of paddy rice to eat, they buy rice from Vietnam. Vietnamese rice is expensive and contains lots of chemical substances. This seriously affects their health. Nowadays, the farmers’ community at Dang Tung have organized a cooperative and have created twenty paddy rice banks to help any farmer who lacks food during the latter part of the rainy season, to rescue them from not being able to have food.

“Dr. Koma called on the government to expand more social cultivating concession land, rather than expanding economic concessions, to encourage farmers not to continue to sell their rice fields, to expand more community markets to facilitate the sale of the farmers’ products, and to increase and enlarge the farmers’ ability to produce and to keep seeds at their communities.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4719, 18.10.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 18 October 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1771, 18.10.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen Rejects the Intention to Send the Border Dispute Problem to the [24-25 October 2008] Asia-Europe Meeting [in Beijing, China]
  • In Five to Ten Years, Phnom Penh Will Have Grown [from 375] to 758 Square Kilometers [according to the Phnom Penh governor Mr. Kep Chuktema]
  • The UN Secretary General Calls on the World to Response to Starvation and Poverty


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #266, 18.10.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Son Chhay: I Still Hope that the Sam Rainsy Party Will Receive Positions in the National Assembly Commissions

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #120, 18.10.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen: The Situation Turns Normal and Cambodia Continues to Be Patient to Solve the Problem Peacefully, Not Needing an Intervention from Other Countries
  • The Cambodian Government [through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs] Reacts against the Bangkok Post of Siam [Thailand] Which Made a Publication with No Basis in Reality [Cambodia Is accused of setting new mines]
  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Continues to Detain Ieng Sary [a former Khmer Rouge leader] until the Day of His Trial

Note:

Actually, the Cambodian chargé d’affaires at the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok was given a document – an aide mémoire – with the request to respond after the Cambodian government would have compared notes – it is no an accusation against the Cambodian authorities, but a request “to investigate whether any individual has violated legislation banning the use of anti-personnel landmines” – describing also in detail some of the background for this request being presented in this way.

The following is quoted from the Bangkok Post:

“The Thai government viewed this incident [in which two Thai soldiers stepped on mines and lost limbs] with great alarm, as it indicated a violation of the 1997 Ottawa Convention to Ban Anti-Personnel Landmines as well as a threat to international peace,” said the deputy director-general of the Information Department, Thani Tongpakdi.

“The Thai Mines Action Centre and other non-governmental organisations found the PMN2-type mines at Phu Ma Khua…

“The mines that were retrieved by the team also appear to be newly-planted as no rust was found on them,” said Mr Thani.

“The government wants Cambodian authorities to investigate whether any individual has violated legislation banning the use of anti-personnel landmines.”

“The Phnom Penh government submitted a report to the United Nations secretary-general in 2002 noting that 240 PMN2-type landmines from a total of 3,405 were transferred from its Interior Ministry to the Cambodian Mine Action Center for development and training.

“Thailand would like the Cambodian government to verify where the remaining mines are.”


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6476, 18-19.10.2008

  • Statement of the Ministry of Foreign of Cambodia: Unilateral Mine Clearing [by Thailand at Veal Intry] Is a Violation
  • The Budget for the Military Will Be Increased during This Fourth Term, the National Assembly Plans to Permit Samdech Hun Sen to Use Expenditures for the Military
  • Fuel Prices in New York – US$69.85 – and in London – US$66.32 – Drop to Almost the Price Level before the Increases
  • A Fax from Samdech Euv [the Father King] to the Minister of the Royal Palace Samdech Kong Som Ol [to grant US$1,000 to the wives or families of the compatriots who died because of the confrontation with Thailand, or who die from accidents at the Preah Vihear Temple, the Ta Moan Temple, and the Ta Krabei Temple; for those who are injured, US$500 will be provided]
  • Old Mother [78] and [57] Daughter Were Robbed and Killed Cruelly [with a cleaver and an ax – the robbers are not yet identified – Koh Soutin, Kompong Cham]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3591, 18.10.2008

  • Khieu Kanharith Criticizes a Siamese Parliamentarian [Sukhumbhand Paripatra – สุขุมพันธุ์ บริพัตร – Member of Parliament with the Democrat Party; former Deputy Foreign Minister] Who Made the Accusation that There Might Be Forces of a Third Country Coming to Cambodia
  • International Community Expresses Concern over the Khmer-Siamese Border Dispute that Could Lead to Serious Armed Conflict [China, Malaysia, Singapore, the European Union, and the United States of America request Cambodian and Thailand to solve the dispute peacefully]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4719, 18.10.2008

  • World No-Food Day: CEDAC Said that Around 100,000 Families in Cambodia Lack Sufficient Food
  • Thai Army Commander-in-Chief [Anupong Paochinda] Tells the Thai Prime Minister [Somchai Wongsawat] to Resign


Have a look at the last editorial: If the alternative is peace or war, the option can only be peace.

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Friday, 10.10.2008: Elections to Choose a President of the Bar Association, on 16 October 2008, Might Face Crisis

Posted on 11 October 2008. Filed under: Week 581 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 581

“During every election to choose a president for the Bar Association in Cambodia, there were always harsh confrontations because of disagreements, that led one person who had lost an elections not to agree to hand over the position to the winner of the election. Because of the previous challenges related to the position of president of the Bar Association, the Bar Association is very careful, being afraid that similar problems might appear again during the elections for a new president of the Bar Association

“Members of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia, who stand as new candidates for the position of president, are very agitated and anxious, because they want the elections to come soon, so that they know who is competent to be the new-term president of the Bar Association to replace Ky Tech, who is the present president of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

“A member of the Bar Association, who asked not to be named, reported that the elections to choose a new president of the Bar Association will be held at the Hotel Cambodiana on 16 October 2008 with more than 500 lawyers attending. Ky Tech is not allowed to stand again as a candidate for the election of a president for the Bar Association.

“The restriction by the Bar Association [regulations] for Ky Tech to stand again as a candidate for the forthcoming elections for a new president of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia leaves some people, who support Ky Tech, unhappy, because when Ky Tech is no longer president of the Bar Association, they will loose their backing. Even Ky Tech himself is unhappy with the restriction for him to stand again as a candidate for another new term.

“Sources from the Bar Association said that the following persons are candidates for the election of a new president of the Bar Association: 1. Nou Tepirith, 2. Khieu Sophal, 3. Puth Theavy, 4. Ouk Phouri, and 5. Chiv Song Hak. The five candidates have two days or 48 hours to lobby the members to support them before the elections.

“A candidate said that the upcoming elections for a new president of the Bar Association are essential. If lawyers are not independent and do not take a moral position, it creates an impossible situation; therefore, whichever candidate is elected, that person must transparently and independently work for the Bar Association.

“Previously, the Bar Association was not very independent, which caused some harsh and disorderly situations in the Bar Association. Another problem was that some government officials and politicians infiltrated the Bar Association, previously led by Ky Tech; moreover there was also discrimination and nepotism.

“It should be noted that after the elections in 2004, Ky Tech, the president of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia, did not hand over his position to Mr. Suon Visal, who had won the elections, creating a conflictive situation which was a heavy burden on the Bar Association.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3584, 10.10.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 10 October 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1764, 10.10.2008

  • Siam [Thailand] Puts More Troops and Canons in Front of the Preah Vihear Temple
  • Burmese Ambassador to Cambodia [Mr. Aung Naing, 61] Died from Illness in SOS Hospital [8 October 2008]
  • Mr. Rong Chhun [president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association] Announces to Demonstrate against the Siamese [Thai] Prime Minister [who plans to visit Cambodia on 13 October 2008]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #260, 10.10.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Do Not Move to Become Members of the Commissions of the National Assembly [because the Cambodian People’s Party did not discuss the nominations for the composition of the National Assembly’s leaders with the Sam Rainsy Party]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #113, 10.10.2008

  • The Cambodian Mine Action Center Announced to Seek Aid for Mine Clearance [annually, between US$10 and US$11 million is spent to clear around 27 square kilometers from land mines]
  • The Open Society Justice Initiative Requests Donor Countries of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to Set Conditions so that There Is No Corruption [a brief press statement is here – the full 17 pages document “Recent Developments at the ECCC: October 2008” can be downloaded there by a mouse click on the icon presented there]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6469, 10.10.2008

  • During the First Nine Months, the Number of International Tourists Increased by 10.11% Compared with 2007 [to 1,389,557]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3584, 10.10.2008

  • Elections to Choose a President of the Bar Association, on 16 October 2008, Might Face Crisis
  • Because of Tense Situation in Siam [Thailand], Khmer Workers Rush to Return Home
  • [Funcinpec Secretary-General] Nhek Bun Chhay Asks Hun Sen to Nominate Former Secretaries of State and Under Secretaries of State [from Funcinpec] as Advisors


Rasmei Angkor, Vol.15, #1368, 10.10.2008

  • [A 17 year-old] Youth Was Rolled Over by a Truck, Completely Destroying His Body into Pieces of Flesh that Could Not Be Recognized [Dangkao, Phnom Penh]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4712, 10.10.2008

  • The National Assembly Recognized Seventeen Newly-Elected Parliaments from the Cambodian People’s Party to Replace Those [from the CPP] Who Had Resigned [because they were appointed to ministerial positions – and the validity of the three elected members from the Human Rights Party as members of the National Assembly was also established – after a special swearing-in ceremony for all, presided over by the King]
  • The Appeals Court Sentenced a Russian Millionaire [Alexander Trofimov, 41] to Serve Six Years Imprisonment for Sexually Assaulting Children under the Age of Fifteen [reducing the original sentence of 13 years imprisonment we had reported on 14.3.2008]
  • Thai Army Commander-in-Chief [General Anupong Paochinda] Promised Not to Make a Coup [after the worst turmoil on 7 October 2008]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3422, 10.10.2008

  • Phnom Penh Authorities Warn about Plans to Demonstrate during the Siamese [Thai] Prime Minister’s Visit [according to the Phnom Penh Police Chief Touch Naruth]

Click here to have a look at the last editorial: Consensus about law enforcement in a society is easy to achieve, when the leadership shows to enforce it equally for all.

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