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Quote of the day

CNRP leader Kem Sokha in response to ruling party claims that an opposition victory could lead to instability and war.

Leading

Sokhonn raises issue of returnees with US official

With tensions between the US and Cambodia running high in recent months, Minister of Foreign Affairs Prak Sokhonn met with a visiting US State Department official yesterday, taking the opportunity to once again request a reworking of a controversial repatriation agreement that has seen America to deport hundreds of Cambodians back to the Kingdom. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Patrick Murphy declined to take questions after his meeting with Sokhonn, telling reporters he and Sokhon had a “very nice discussion”.

Government meets with Laos

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng and Laotian Minister of Public Security Somkeo Silavong yesterday reaffirmed their commitment to increasing cooperation and security along their common border, despite recent standoffs between soldiers on each side due to a contentious road being built along the frontier. Lao soldiers have attempted to stop Cambodian engineers from building the road through three undemarcated areas before soldiers on both sides decided to back down for the Khmer New Year holiday.

More education funds urged

A group of NGOs from the education sector yesterday urged the government to boost education spending to at least 20 percent of the country’s budget. Currently, education spending accounts for 18.3 percent of government spending, well short of the ministry’s goal of 23.1 percent for 2017, and its hoped-for budget for 2018 of 25 percent. Although the ministry has seen budget increases in recent years, Cambodia’s investment in education remains lower than in neighbouring countries.

Investment down by $1B

Local and foreign investment in the Kingdom declined by nearly $1 billion last year, with the bulk of losses coming from fewer infrastructure and agriculture projects, while the manufacturing and tourism sectors continued to post massive gains, according to the Council for the Development of Cambodia’s (CDC) annual report published yesterday. According to the report, total investment last year in 171 projects across all sectors decreased by 22 percent and was valued at $3.6 billion, compared to $4.6 billion in 2015.

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