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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia to pitch in $150 million to Asian financial crisis fund

Cambodia to pitch in $150 million to Asian financial crisis fund

$80 billion regional slush fund is intended to prevent a regional currency crisis, with Asean countries contributing 20 percent of the total

THE government has said it will contribute US$150 million to a regional fund established to combat the effects of the global economic crisis.

The US$80 billion fund was announced October 24 during the Asia Europe Meeting in Beijing.

Thirteen countries agreed to contribute, with 80 percent of funds coming from China, Japan and South Korea.

The balance is expected to come from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Finance Minister Keat Chhon told the Post last week the fund would help Cambodia in the event of future market instability in the Kingdom.

"This is a fulfilment of Cambodia's duty to the region and the world, and we hope we will be able to access this money in the future," he said.

Final details for the fund have yet to be worked out, but it has nonetheless helped restore some confidence in Asia's shaky markets, he said.

"We think everybody is less worried after this fund contribution policy. However, we need to discuss the issues further to ensure the money will address the problem of currency shortages," he said.

Opposition Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Yim Sovan said Sunday the country risks losing any investment it makes to the regional fund.

"I do not understand what Keat Chhon has said, and I do not believe this contribution can help Cambodia," Yim Sovan said.

"What we can see is that many companies in Cambodia are having problems, and some are going to collapse because they lack cash for trading," he added.

"We do not think that these problems can be solved by the contribution," he said.

"We will be able to solve the crisis without making a contribution to the fund by just eliminating corruption, by stopping requests for money from investors and by pushing for a decrease in oil and electricity prices," he added.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said Friday that Cambodia could contribute between five and 10 percent of its reserve budget to satisfy its commitment to the regional fund.

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