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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Growth blueprint maps out future

Growth blueprint maps out future

T he Royal Government of Cambodia revealed its long-term plan for economic

growth, national reconciliation, social justice, and economic growth at the

Tokyo ICORC meeting.

At the conference, Finance Minister Sam Rainsy

outlined the government's National Programme to Rehabilitate and Develop

Cambodia and gave details on plans to set up a market economy.

"The

overriding objective of the government is to achieve a fair, just and peaceful

society and, through accelerating the rate of economic growth, to raise the

living standards of all Cambodians.

"Our moves along the road from a

centrally planned economy to a full market economy are both irreversible and

irrevocable."

Central to the government's plan are two commitments:

sustainable economic growth, and social justice and equity.

Other

objectives include:

 

  • To reform the country and its public service. Efforts will focus on creating

    and enforcing laws necessary to set up the basis of an orderly society, and

    finalizing the reorganization of the government.

  • To rely on private enterprise and the market as engines of growth. The

    government has a GDP growth objective of 7-8 percent a year in real terms. The

    government recognizes there is a lack of skilled labor, and infrastructure

    urgently needs repair and updating.

  • The government wants to link its three main towns, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville

    and Siem Reap, and create a growth corridor between Sihanoukville and Phnom

    Penh. Route 4 to Sihanoukville and Route 6 to Siem Riep will be given priority

    for reconstruction.

  • To double the present level of GDP by 2004 in real terms. The government

    will accomplish this, in part, by increasing security, maintaining a stable

    macro-economic environment, creating the climate and institutions required to

    increase savings and investment, establish conditions to promote private sector

    activity, and re-integrate the Cambodian economy into the international

    arena.

  • To make health, education and social services accessible to the public. The

    government said people are the country's most important asset. It intends to

    increase mother and child health care, increase control of communicable

    diseases, interrupt the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, improve the

    supply and distribution of drugs.

  • In the health sector, the government says it needs to spend $140.8 million

    over the next six years.

  • So far, $88.5 million in aid has been identified. For education, the

    government says it needs over $123 million over the next three years.

  • To ensure, within the decade, a substantial improvement in the standard of

    living.

  • To improve rural living. The government plans to improve irrigation and

    drainage systems and access to markets and to the port of Sihanoukville, to

    privatize rubber estates, ensure an adequate supply of credit to farmers,

    address land tenure, land mines and internal security.

  • To ensure the pattern of development is sustainable socially, politically,

    fiscally and environmentally.

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