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Quote of the day

PM Hun Sen urges civility between political parties, a suggestion that came amid what experts have called a sustained legal, political and physical onslaught against the opposition.

Leading

Exports of logs double in 2016

A man transports a trailer load of timber through Kratie province toward the Cambodia-Vietnam border last year.

Despite a ban on the export of timber to Vietnam and the creation of a much-publicised anti-logging task force, Cambodia last year still exported nearly $33 million dollars’ worth of unprocessed logs to its eastern neighbour, a volume more than double that of 2015, according to Vietnamese customs data. The figures, collected by US NGO Forest Trends, reveal that in 2016 Vietnam imported 139,306 cubic metres of logs from Cambodia, a sharp rise from 59,292 cubic metres in 2015 and just 460 in 2014. The imports saw a staggering spike in November and December of last year.

Fund to fuel digital startups

A panel of speakers at the Smart Digital Innovation Fund press conference yesterday in Phnom Penh.

Cambodian mobile operator Smart Axiata launched a $5 million venture capital fund yesterday that will seek to identify, fund and nurture local digital services companies and startups. The Smart Axiata Digital Innovation Fund will seek “to invest in ideas and businesses in the digital ecosystem to spark the development of a robust digital economy that will help grow Cambodia as a whole”. “A new chapter in Cambodia’s digital journey is about to start as we anticipate that the fund will kickstart the next wave of digital growth,” said Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Axiata.

Capital still struggling with waste

Deputy Governor Ieng Aunny speaks at the first strategy formulation workshop on waste management yesterday in Phnom Penh.

Phnom Penh deputy governor Ieng Aunny yesterday acknowledged that the capital continues to struggle with waste management despite recent decentralisation measures, laying the blame with districts’ and communes’ lack of awareness of their new responsibilities, as well as what he characterised as contractor Cintri’s ongoing failure to meet the city’s needs. Phnom Penh began to delegate waste management duties to its districts and communes last year, with City Hall handing responsibility for the services to the city’s final four districts in December.

Drug czar urges more power to detain users

National Authority for Combating Drugs President Ke Kim Yan speaks at a meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh.

As the Kingdom pushes ahead with a controversial nationwide drug crackdown, Ke Kim Yan, the president of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD), called yesterday for expanded powers to detain drug users in “treatment facilities” against their will and without trial. The remarks were made at the NACD’s yearly conference, where a report from the agency was released yesterday that revealed a 1-tonne shipment of cocaine destined for Sihanoukville had been intercepted in Shanghai in November.

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