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Japanese Gauge Development Prospects in Cambodia

A Japanese think tank recently completed a 500-page glossy study on Cambodian reconstruction

and development needs that is intended to serve as a roadmap for potential investors

and donor agencies.

The 500-page report was produced by the Japan Development Institute (JDI), a private,

non-profit organization operated by the Engineering Consulting Firms Association

of Japan (ECFA).

Entitled "Comprehensive Study of Reconstruction and Development of Cambodia

for Medium and Long Term Development," the report proposes maximum use of Cambodia's

natural resources while at the same time calling for balanced growth between urban

and rural sectors, equitable income distribution, and "sustainable development

through environmental protection."

The authors list 157 proposed projects geared to reconstruction and development,

with an estimated total price tag of more than US $5 billion.

"We've taken the long view," said Hisashi Takanashi, JDI's principle economist.

"This study provides recommendations on development for the period up until

the year 2010. The report makes much reference to Thailand's economic growth successes."

EFCA is a member organization comprised of Japanese consulting firms, banks, and

manufacturers.

"Some of EFCA's members may try to promote specific projects outlined in the

report purely on a company-by-company basis," Takanashi said. Commenting on

the study, a Western diplomat said, "There is a certain amount of self-interest

in reports such as this, but it will also be of use to the broader development community."

An 18-member team of economists and regional planners collected the data used in

the report during a visit to Cambodia from April 21 to May 1, l992. Among those consulted

by the team were various State of Cambodia ministries, the United Nations Development

Program, the Cambodian Resource Development Institute, and the U.S. Agency for International

Development.

Sixty copies of the report were presented on July 16 to Phnom Penh government officials

and ministries. Copies will also be delivered to UNDP, international donor agencies,

nongovernmental organizations operating in Cambodia, and local embassies.

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