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Capital to have conference centre


Hun Sen announces plans to build state-owned conference hall to host foreign audiences.

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Chea Vanthoo, 58, works on the new Council of Ministers building next to where the PM wants a conference hall to be built.   

PRIME Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday announced plans to build an "international-standard" conference hall to host diplomatic events with foreign audiences.

 "I will use only 15 months to complete it," Hun Sen told a crowd of some 600 students at the Royal University of Phnom Penh during a graduation ceremony.

"Before, we relied on hotels for international events, and it is always difficult to find a place, and sometimes we are forced to hold meetings in Siem Reap."

He said the conference hall would be constructed with government funds next to the new Council of Ministers building. Local architects would be tapped to design it, he said, citing the success of local architects in constructing the National Assembly.

He said the decision was prompted by plans for Cambodia to host a series of regional conferences in the coming years, including three regional meetings next year and two Asean summits in 2012.

The opening of the Chinese-funded Council of Ministers building, scheduled for April 4, would be postponed until the conference hall is complete, he said.

Cheam Yeap, chairman of the Finance and Banking Commission of the National Assembly, said the prime minister had called on a group of local architects and Phnom Penh developer Ly Chhoung Construction - which built the National Assembly - to construct the facility.

"It is necessary for a country to have this sort of place," he said.

"We want to have an appropriate conference hall belonging to the state."

Cheam Yeap would not put a price tag on the new facility but said it would cost less than the US$30 million spent to build the National Assembly. 



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