Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Graduation and Diploma Presenting Ceremony for Graduates of the Institute of Technology of Cambodian (ITC) and Inauguration of Its Engineering Building [Unofficial Translation]

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Seeking Assistance for ITC

[…] We have made so much efforts to seek assistance to enable re-functioning of ITC. I also came here to hand over diplomas. As soon as the former Soviet Union crumbled and divided, we learnt for sure that they would not be able to provide further assistance to ITC. I had to work with and seek assistance from France. I worked with HE Roland Dumas, then French Foreign Minister and Co-Chairman of the Paris conference […] I should recall that there was a tendency, while we started to have French assistance coming, against use of French language in ITC. There were about twelve students led by Pang Lida demonstrated their disagreement to use of French language in ITC. They belonged to a group of people who prefer English. They launched demonstration to disrupt our efforts. Now, Pang Lida is the Deputy Governor of Khan Tuol Kork (of Phnom Penh) […] It was very much a doubt why were they so silly about that. No matter what country it would be, let it be. The most important thing here was to find someone to help us […]

Education and Human Resource Training – Highest Priority

It is required that we are making efforts altogether to ensure economic growth and advancement. With that we are going to enable to invest more in education and necessary infrastructures, which in return would further our economic growth. Education has become a highest priority. Human resource training is our utmost priority. We have seen altogether that lately there have been concerns about big presence of Chinese investors. We may ponder that while there are huge investments, do we have sufficient human resource to absorb it and/or to respond to demands for human resource? Take for instance the construction of the Nak Loeung’s Tsubasa Bridge how many Cambodian and Japanese technicians were in demand? There was certain demand that local engineers could respond to but for certain key positions, there were still needs for Japanese technicians. We have now higher skyscrapers, not ten or twenty floors, but soon building of 133 floors standing in height of 600 meters. You may wonder if local human resource can cater to these demands […]

Secession Not Allowed

… I have quite sufficient experiences, though they may not be up to standards of some people. I stood firmly since when I was 25 years old leading a struggle movement […] they made some noises a few days ago. I just send them a message that they should not urge further hammering on nails to their coffin. If your problem were still in the court procedure, that would be a different matter. However, if it becomes a secession issue, no one country would allow you to do that. No one would allow you to secede this country again. I have not said a word for days. No matter what movement is may be, and it would be even better if the person comes himself. I do not hold army directly under me but I can order the armed forces in the framework of my position as Deputy Chairman of the Supreme National Defense Council […] I would not need to refer to the person by name […]

Peace and Political Stability, Chances for Development

It is primarily important to maintain peace and political security. We must make further efforts to make every individual capacity better and responsive to demands […] in relations to agriculture, visiting India, while we talked about soil condition and agricultural zoning in one of our Cabinet’s meeting, I saw how Indians make use of digital information technology in agriculture. They have divided zoning for crops through their soil analysis. They assisted farmers to grow the right kinds of crops, which is linked right away to market demands […]

A Democratic Country, We Must Hold Elections

… Over the past 33 years, including a certain period of time that I was Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, I have been in office for 39 years. I already declared that I will run for another ten years. A Japanese friend once said jokingly to me the other day that in Asia, people tend to have longer life, and he suggested that I should do more than that. No matter what, as a democratic country, we must go through elections. In matter of days, we will hold a non-universal suffrage elections of the Senate on 25 February. After that, on 29 July 2018, we will organize a general elections and we anticipate a new Royal Government in September.

Constitutional Amendments

I should take this moment to inform you that tomorrow the Cabinet will convene a meeting to discuss drafts of amendments proposed for the Constitution, and addendums to the criminal codes about insults on HM the King. Well, let me bring up a reason why there is a need for Constitutional amendment. There has been questions about how come the Cambodian Cabinet is so big. In fact, it has not been big but it has been required by the Constitution to include Secretary of State also in the list of Cabinet to seek ratification of the National Assembly […] let us keep only Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Senior Ministers, and Ministers in the list. Let us appoint Secretary of States by Royal Decrees. In some ministries, because appointing Secretary of State has to seek approval of the National Assembly, we are stuck. Take for instance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, because some Secretaries of State have taken up Ambassadorial positions, the ministry has been short of staff in senior positions. Let us leave this matter for Prime Minister to propose appointed candidacy to HM […]

Locals Create More Jobs

… Some of our students who have graduated have even established their business and companies. They have created jobs. They have contributed to the Royal Government’s efforts in job creation […] in the last two months of 2017, we have created some 20,000 jobs thanks to foreign investments in Cambodia. However, we do not wait only for investments from outside. Local companies have also created fairly amount of jobs. Take for instance, service sector has created many jobs for locals. We have many hotels built and owned by locals. In Siem Reap, some 80% of hotels are local investments. The same is also true in Phnom Penh. In tourism alone, we have created so many jobs.

Interaction from 2017 Ensures a Good 2018

Along with greetings to progress made by ITC as well as our graduations, I hope that we will advance together and no matter what may happen, our economy will, because of good achievements in 2017, continue to realize good results. We have a trustworthy revenue from tax as far as financial sector is concerned. Interactions from 2017 ensures that we will be good in 2018 […] we have not had a final data from agricultural sector yet, but we all know that it had been a good agricultural year. We have realized rainy season rice production and cultivation higher than what we had planned for. More so, their yields have also been higher. We cultivated on 2.6 million hectares of rainy season rice. We cultivate up to over half a million hectares with an average yield of four metric tons per hectare of dry season rice. This year, according to our estimate, we may have no less than 5.5 million metric tons of rice surplus […]

No Country Could Infringe Upon WTO Framework

… They may impose tax on our goods. We also do on theirs. It is mutual. You do not allow my goods to go to you, we will also not allow your goods to come to us. It is an open economy in the framework of World Trade Organization. How could anyone do it differently? We export our goods to other countries, we pay tax. They earn from our trade activities. We also earn our interests from exporting to them. We have also a rather big purchasing power. Let us talk about our trade with Thailand. It has reached over five billion USD, of which Thailand exported a sum of over four billion USD to Cambodia, and we exported a size of nearly one billion USD to Thailand. You may ask why we buy so much from Thailand. Our country needs a great deal of construction materials […]

With China, we also have a trade relation of nearly five billion USD, of which China exported nearly four billion USD to Cambodia. Why? Almost every factory in Cambodia imported textiles from China […] India also exports a lot to Cambodia. They exported fabrics/textiles to Cambodia too. In trade, we have mutual interests […] only those people who run away from the country (talking about) pressure […] I am warning him, if he considers himself as a terrorist, I will hunt for him. Presently, he is declaring himself a terrorist, (and their movement) not just an outlawed organization, but a terrorist organization. I invite him to act so. I have no wish to send any messages because I wanted the country to have calmness. However, if that has been said already, I just let it out. As a terrorist, we can seek cooperation for arrest anywhere he is./.