Swedish ambassador to Cambodia Anne Hoglund (front, L) and Cambodia’s Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon (front, R) sign an agreement yesterday for a soft loan of US$57 million to go toward economic development in Cambodia. Photograph: Meng Kimlong/Phnom Penh Post
Sweden loaned Cambodia US$57 million yesterday for economic country development and cooperation for the duration of 2012-2013.
The agreement was made between Cambodia’s Economic Minister Keat Chhon and Swedish ambassador to Cambodia Anne Hoglund at the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) yesterday morning.
Keat Chhon said the agreement is mainly to support the 2012-2013 implementations of activities in priority areas – likely economic development, democratic development, human rights, education and climate change.
“These agreed priority areas are consistent with those outlined by the government’s rectangular strategy. I am confident that this support from Sweden will make a significant contribution to promoting sustainable development and accelerating poverty reduction in Cambodia,” he said.
Hoglund said that Sweden opened their representative office in Cambodia in 1996 for strengthening cooperation between the two countries. In 2010 they opened an embassy in Cambodia.
She said the bilateral agreement proved the strong commitment from the Swedish government to support Cambodia’s development in various areas across the board in a bid to reduce the poverty, to support economic development and strengthen democracy as well as human resource development of Cambodia.
Keat Chhon said the Swedish government has also provided resources through the European Union, international financial institutions, multilateral organisations as well as NGOs.
“Sweden has also actively engaged in the dialogue with the government concerning promoting the effectiveness of these and all other external resources for national development,” he said.
“Support to public financial management reform is one example of such commitment and engagement.”
The agreement is based on the discussion that has been taken place between the Cambodian and Swedish governments since mid 2010 in preparation for the five-year strategy for Cambodia-Sweden Cooperation 2011-2015, said Keat Chhon.
“This discussion has proceeded well according to the principles of partnership that both parties emphasised in our collaboration. However, given the changes in the government of Sweden’s cooperation policy, and the need to align this strategy with policy documents of the Cambodian government, such as the Rectangular Stategy Phase II and national development Plan update 2009-2013, Sweden has decided to develop its two-year cooperation strategy for 2012-2013 instead.”
To contact the reporter on this story: May Kunmakara at [email protected]